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Manual

on
Model Code of Conduct
(For the guidance of political parties and candidates)
& other related guidelines

March, 2019
Document 21 - Edition 1
“No voter to be left behind”

Document 21 - Edition 1

Manual
on
Model Code of Conduct
(For the guidance of political parties and candidates)
& other related guidelines

March, 2019

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“No voter to be left behind”

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Amendments and Corrigenda

Amendments Corrigenda

S. No. Date Subject S. No. Date Subject

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE
NO.
GLOSSARY 1
CHAPTER 1. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND 7
CHAPTER 2. STATUS AND SCOPE OF MODEL CODE 11
2.1 Introduction 11
2.2 Status of Model Code 11
2.3 Provision of Enabling Laws 12
2.4 Scope of Supplementing Instructions 14
CHAPTER 3. ENFORCEMENT OF MODEL CODE 16
3.1 Introduction 16
3.2 Date of Enforcement 16
3.3 Duration of Application 17
3.4 Extent of Application 17
3.5 Who are Covered Under Model Code 17
3.6 Whether the Election Commission Can Take Action under 18
Model Code Before Announcement of Election
3.7 Applicability of Model Code in Cases of Premature Dissolution 18
of Legislative Assembly Followed by the Caretaker Government
in Position Till the Formation of New Government After Fresh
Election
3.8 Whether Election Related Campaign Activities Undertaken By 19
Persons Other Than Political Parties and Candidates Are Covered
Under Model Code (Annexure- III)
CHAPTER 4. SPECIAL MEASURES TAKEN BY ELECTION 22
COMMISSION TO ENFORCE MODEL CODE
4.1 Introduction 22
4.2 Standardization of Processing of Model Code References received 22
from Union Government and State Governments
• Transfer/postings of election related government officials 22
• Enforcement of Model Code with announcement of 22
election

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• Direction to the Union Government 23


• Directions to State Governments 24
4.3 Advisory to Political Parties and Candidates 24
4.4 DOs and DON’Ts for Electioneering to be Followed by Political 26
Parties and Candidates
CHAPTER 5. ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEW SCHEMES- 31
RESTRICTION ON FINANCIAL & ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS
5.1 Introduction 31
5.2 Consolidated Guidelines 33
5.3 Presentation of Annual Budget 37
5.4 Announcement of Financial Grants/Concessions/Relief/ 38
Subsidy
5.5 Payment out of Discretionary Funds & MP/MLALADS 40
5.6 Permission to Regular Financial Matters of Statutory Requirement 41
5.7 Waiving Off of Recoveries and Bad Debts by State Government 42
Financial Institutions
5.8 Restriction on Ad Hoc Appointments 42
5.9 Instances of Restriction on Other Administrative Decisions 43
CHAPTER 6. PUBLICATION OF ADVERTISEMENTS AT COST 44
OF PUBLIC EXCHEQUER
6.1 Introduction 44
6.2 Supreme Court Guidelines 45
6.3 Consolidated Guidelines 47
6.4 Display of Advertisements and Hoardings at the Cost of Public 48
Exchequer
6.5 Publication of Advertisements in Non Poll Going States 49
6.6 Publication of Advertisements in Connection with Special 50
Occasions/Days
6.7 Continuation of Aadhaar Related Publicity in Various States 51
CHAPTER 7. TOURS/VISITS OF MINISTERS/OTHER 52
DIGNITARIES
7.1 Introduction 52
7.2 Consolidated Instructions 53

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• Official visit not to be combined with political/private visit 54


• Restriction on use of official vehicles 54
• No protocol by Government officials 55
• Meeting with Government officials 55
• Video Conferencing with Government officials 56
• Personal staff with Ministers, while on tour 56
• Accommodation in Government guest houses 57
7.3 Briefing of Chief Minister/Home Minister by Police Officers 57
CHAPTER 8. RESTRICTION ON ELECTIONEERING DURING 58
PERIOD OF 48 HOURS BEFORE CLOSE OF POLL
8.1 Introduction 58
8.2 Restriction on Presence of Political Functionaries in a 59
Constituency During the Last 48 Hours
• Measures to Check 59
• Exemption from Restriction 60
8.3 Telecast of Election Matters During the Last 48 Hours 60
8.4 Whether Broadcasting of Election Related Matter over Radio 62
Could be done during Last 48 Hours
8.5 Advertisements in Print Media 62
8.6 Telecast of Feature Films (Other Than Commercial Advt.) of the 64
Actors Contesting Elections
CHAPTER 9. DISPLAY OF PHOTO/MESSAGE ON OFFICIAL 65
WEBSITE/GOVT. BUILDINGS/ ADVERTISEMENTS
9.1 Introduction 65
9.2 Display of Photo/Message on Official Website 65
9.3 Display of Photo/Message in Government Buildings 66
9.4 Display of Photo/Message on Government Advertisements/ 66
Hoardings
9.5 Whether Names/Photographs can be Displayed on Mobile 66
Objects Funded under MP/MLA LAD
9.6 Display of Photos on Beneficiary Cards/Electric Bills/ 67
Construction Site Plaques etc

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9.7 Whether Images of National Leaders/Poets/Prominent 67


Personalities of the Past can be Displayed
9.8 Restrictions on Use of Photographs of Defence Personnel 68
CHAPTER 10. USE/REQUISITION OF VEHICLES 69
10.1 Introduction 69
10.2 Legal Provision on Requisition of Vehicles 69
10.3 Exemption from Requisition of Vehicles 69
10.4 Compensation for Requisitioned Vehicles 70
10.5 Consolidated Instructions 70
• Ban on use of Official Vehicles 70
• Restriction on convoy of vehicles 73
• Use of vehicles during filing of nominations 73
• Use of vehicles for electioneering purposes 73
• Use of vehicles on poll day 77
• Video-Vans 79
• Use of Bikes for Campaigning 81
• Regulation of Road Shows During Elections 82
• Use of Road Transport by Star Campaigners 83
10.6 Use of Official Vehicles by Speaker/Deputy Speaker or 83
functionaries of various boards/Commissions/PSUs
10.7 Bullet Proof Vehicles Provided for Security Reasons 84
CHAPTER 11. USE/REQUISITION OF HELICOPTERS/ 87
AIRCRAFTS
11.1 Introduction 87
11.2 Chartering of Aircrafts and Helicopters 87
11.3 Maintenance of Record of Non-Scheduled Flights 87
11.4 Maintenance of Proper Record by District Administration 88
11.5 Clarification Regarding Use of Private Fixed-Wing Aircraft and 88
Helicopters for Polling/Counting
CHAPTER 12. USE OF GROUNDS/PUBLIC PROPERTIES 90
12.1 Introduction 90
12.2 Use of School/College Premises/Grounds 90
12.3 Restriction on Use of Public Properties for Political Advertisements 91

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12.4 Restriction on Use of Buses Plying under State Transport 92


Authority for Political Advertisements
CHAPTER 13. USE OF NATIONAL FLAG/PARTY FLAGS/PARTY 93
BANNERS
13.1 Use of National Flag 93
13.2 Use of Party Flags/Banners by Party Workers at their Residences 94
• Number of party flags to be displayed 94
13.3 Number and Size of Banners/Flags to be Displayed on Vehicles 95
13.4 Campaign Related Items 96
CHAPTER 14. USE OF LOUDSPEAKERS 97
14.1 Introduction 97
14.2 Consolidated Instructions 97
• Duration of use of loudspeakers during elections 98
• Permission to use loudspeakers a must 98
• Restriction on use of loudspeakers during the last 48 hours 99
• Sound must be within permissible limit 99
CHAPTER 15. PRINTING OF PAMPHLETS/POSTERS 100
15.1 Introduction 100
15.2 Surrogate Advertisements 101
15.3 Surrogate Advertisements continued 101
15.4 Action in case of Advertisements with Traceable Source 102
15.5 Hoardings/Flex Boards within Meaning of ‘Poster’ 102
CHAPTER 16. DEFACEMENT OF PUBLIC/PRIVATE PROPERTY 103
16.1 Introduction 103
16.2 Consolidated Instructions 104
• Defacement of Public Places 104
• Defacement of Private Places 105
• Defacement of Halls, Auditorium and Other Government 108
Owned Properties
• Defacement of Vehicles 108
16.3 Timeline for Removal of Unauthorized Defacement 109

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CHAPTER 17. BAN ON SALE OF LIQUOR 111


17.1 Introduction 111
17.2 Statutory Restriction 111
17.3 Election Commission Instructions 112
• Restriction during the last 48 hours and day of poll/repoll 112
• Restriction on day of counting 112
17.4 Additional Measure to Check Use of Liquor to Bribe Voters 112
CHAPTER 18. ELECTION MANIFESTOS 114
18.1 Introduction 114
18.2 Supreme Court Directives on Election Manifestos 114
18.3 The Election Commission’s Guidelines on Election Manifestos 115
18.4 Election Manifesto Not Legally Enforceable 117
CHAPTER 19. MODEL CODE AND GOVT. OFFICIALS 118
19.1 Introduction 118
19.2 Policy on Transfers/Postings 119
• Conditions of transfer 119
• Applicability of the policy 120
• Relaxation/Exemption 121
• Consultation with Chief Electoral Officer 122
• Transfer/posting of Officials involved in preparation of 123
Electoral Roll
19.3 Clarification on Transfers of Sub-Inspector of Police 123
19.4 Ban on Transfers of Officials Connected with Election 123
19.5 Briefing of Chief Minister/Home Minister by Police Officers 124
19.6 Video Conferencing Between Ministers and Government 125
Officials
19.7 Restrictions on Tours /Leave of the Officers Whose Spouses 126
are Active in Political Arena
CHAPTER 20. MODEL CODE DURING BYE-ELECTIONS 127
20.1 Introduction 127
20.2 Applicability of Model Code 127
20.3 Tours of Ministers 128

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20.4 Announcement of New Schemes/Projects 129


20.5 Announcement of Dearness Allowance 130
20.6 Publication of Advertisements 130
20.7 Removal of References of Ministers from Official Websites 131
20.8 Restriction on Promises/Statements on Religious/Communal 131
Ground
20.9 Transfer/Posting of Government Officials 131
• Bye-election to the Assembly Constituency (ies) 132
• Bye-election to the Parliamentary Constituency (ies) 133
CHAPTER 21. MODEL CODE DURING BIENNIAL ELECTIONS 136
21.1 Introduction 136
21.2 Consolidated Instructions 137
• Restriction on visits of Ministers and announcement of 137
new schemes etc.
• Restriction on Use of Vehicles 137
• Recording of Minister’s Visit 138
• Meeting with Government Officials 138
• Ban on transfer of Government Officials 139
• Use of maidan/helipads etc. 139
• Accomodation at Government Dak Bangalows 139
• Restriction on the presence of Political Functionaries in a 139
Constituency during the last 48 hours
• Ban on sale of Liquor 140
• Appointment of MCMC 140
• Bulk SMS and Voice Messages during Election 140
Campaigning
CHAPTER 22. MISCELLANEOUS 141
22.1 Use of Guest Houses 141
22.2 Participation of Political Functionaries in Celebration of 142
Important Days
22.3 Holding of Feast/Party on a Religious Occasion During 143
Elections

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22.4 Temporary Campaign Office 143


22.5 Use of Animals in Election Process 144
22.6 Major Tenders and Auctions – relating to Liquor Vendors/Tendu 144
Leaves etc.
22.7 Applicability of Model Code on Matters relating to Defence 145
Forces
22.8 Engagement of Child Labour in the Election Related Activities 145
22.9 Restriction on Use of Plastic during Electioneering 145
CHAPTER 23. LANDMARK JUDGMENTS ON MODEL CODE 146
ANNEXURES (I-XXI) 159
Annexure – I 161
Annexure – II 168
Annexure – III 169
Annexure – IV 171
Annexure – V 172
Annexure – VI 181
Annexure – VII 185
Annexure – VIII 186
Annexure – IX 188
Annexure – X 189
Annexure – XI 203
Annexure – XII 209
Annexure – XIII 211
Annexure – XIV 219
Annexure – XV 222
Annexure – XVI 225
Annexure – XVII 251
Annexure – XVIII 252
Annexure – XIX 255
Annexure – XX 256
Annexure – XXI 261
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ) 263

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GLOSSARY OF THE TERMS USED

1. Assistant Electoral Registration Officer: The Election Commission may


appoint one or more persons as Assistant Electoral Registration Officers to assist
an Electoral Registration Officer to prepare the electoral roll of the Constituency
under his charge. Every Assistant Electoral Registration Officer shall, subject to
the control of Electoral Registration Officer, be competent to perform all or any
of the functions of Electoral Registration Officer.
2. Assistant Returning Officer: The Election Commission may appoint one
or more persons as Assistant Returning Officer to assist a Returning Officer
in conduct of election for the Constituency under his charge. Every Assistant
Returning Officer shall, subject to the control of Returning Officer, be competent
to perform the functions assigned in the statutes.
3. Booth Capturing: Booth capturing means unauthorized casting of votes by
some person other than the genuine voter either by intimidating or threatening
the polling officials to surrender the ballot papers or by preventing the voters
from going to the polling stations.
4. Booth Level Officer: Booth Level Officer is a local Government/Semi-
Government official, familiar with the local electors and generally a voter in the
same polling area, who assists in updating the roll using his local knowledge.
He, under the overall supervision of Electoral Registration Officer, is responsible
for field verification, collection of information/data regarding electors and
preparation of roll of a part of electoral roll in respect of the polling area, assigned
to him.
5. Bribery: Bribery may be described as an inducement to a person, by wrong
means, to do or not to do a thing which he may otherwise have not done or
done. In the context of elections, bribery is the most common and rampant form
of corrupt practice. It is any gift, offer or promise by a candidate or his agent or
by any other person with the consent of a candidate or any election agent, with
the object of inducing a person to stand or not to stand or to withdraw or not to
withdraw from being a candidate at an election, or an elector to vote or refrain
from voting at an election.

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6. Chief Electoral Officer: Chief Electoral Officer is an officer of the State


Government, who supervises the work relating to preparation of electoral roll and
conduct of all elections to Parliament and the Legislature of the State, subject to
the overall superintendence, direction and control of the Election Commission.
7. Constituency: As amended from time to time, the Delimitation Order defines
the territorial extent of each Assembly Constituency and the Parliamentary
Constituency. A number of Assembly Constituencies comprise a Parliamentary
Constituency. All Assembly and Parliamentary Constituencies are territorial,
i.e. have fixed geographical boundaries. An exception is the Sangha Assembly
Constituency in Sikkim which comprises of monks residing in recognized
monasteries all over the State of Sikkim.
8. Corrupt Practice: A corrupt practice is committed by a candidate, or by
someone else with his consent. It has effect of vitiating the whole election and
can result in the said election being declared void. Corrupt practices at elections
are specified in Section 123 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
9. District Election Officer: The Election Commission designates the head of
district administration, variously known as Collector, Deputy Commissioner or
District Magistrate, as District Election Officer of the district concerned. Subject
to the superintendence, direction and control of Chief Electoral Officer, District
Election Officer shall coordinate and supervise all work in the district or in the
area within his jurisdiction in connection with the preparation and revision of
the electoral rolls, and conduct of elections to all Parliamentary, Assembly and
Council Constituencies within the district. District Election Officer is responsible
for providing polling stations and the publication of the list of polling stations
and for providing polling staff at elections.
10. Election Manifesto: An election manifesto is a published document containing
declaration of the ideology, intentions, views, policies and programmes of
a political party, keeping an eye, in particular, on forthcoming elections and
published and publicized on the eve of elections.
11. Electoral Offence: Electoral offence is a criminal act relatable to an election
specified under the Indian Penal Code. Commission of an electoral offence can
be taken cognizance of as soon as it is committed in the same manner in which
any other criminal activity is investigated and tried.

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12. Electoral Registration Officer: For the purpose of preparation and revision
of electoral rolls of a constituency, the Election Commission, in consultation
with the Government of the State, designates/nominates an officer of the State
Government concerned, as Electoral Registration Officer. Electoral Registration
Officer is the statutory authority to prepare the electoral roll of the Constituency
under his charge.
13. Electoral Roll: Ordinarily known as ‘voter list’, electoral roll is a list of persons
registered as electors residing in a constituency. For proper management,
electoral roll of a constituency is divided into several parts which contain details
of electors of the corresponding polling areas.
14. EPIC: Electors Photo Identity Card (EPIC) is issued by Electoral Registration
Officer to all electors registered in the electoral roll of the Assembly Constituency
under him, for establishing the identity of the concerned elector at the time of
poll.
15. False Statement: False statement is publication by a candidate or his agent
or any other person with consent of the candidate or his election agent, of any
statement of fact which is false or not true, in relation to personal character or
conduct of any candidate calculated to prejudice the prospects of that candidate’s
election.
16. Freebie: Freebie is ‘something given without charge’. In common parlance,
freebies are the promises of giving certain tangible materials such as bicycles,
laptops, TVs or facilities like electricity connection, water connection or food
grains on nominal price or without any cost to a targeted group of electorate like
people below poverty line, women, students, disabled people etc.
17. Gratification: Gratification means something valuable including all pecuniary
benefits, entertainment and employment, which is calculated to satisfy a person’s
aim, object or desire. It refers to a gift made of something which gives material
advantage to its recipient.
18. Impersonation: If a person votes in the name of any other person, whether
living or dead, or in a fictitious name, or if having voted once, votes in his own
name, he commits the offence of impersonation at that election. Impersonation
is an electoral offence.

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19. Inducement: Inducement is persuasion, promise and gratification offered


through a third person, direct or indirect, to a voter to vote or refrain from
voting. The voter may not be a direct party in the bargain between the candidate/
his election agent and the third person but must be shown to have an indirect
interest in it.
20. Model Code of Conduct: The Model Code of Conduct is a set of norms
for guidance of political parties and candidates during election period, evolved
with the consensus of political parties. The Election Commission ensures its
observance by political parties including the ruling parties and candidates during
the period of elections so that nobody can disturb the level playing field for all
political parties involved in the electoral process.
21. Party in Power: The party in power is the political party which is in government
at the center or in the state. The Model Code of Conduct intends that no action
should be taken by a party in power in close proximity to the date on which
the elections are announced so as to derive any benefit therefrom during the
elections.
22. Photo Voter Slips: For convenience of voters on day of poll, pre-printed official
voter slips, containing photograph of voter and details available in the photo roll
such as Number and Name of Constituency, Part No., Name, Gender, EPIC
No., Relatives name, Serial No., Polling Station No. and Name and Date, Day
and Time of poll, are distributed to all enrolled voters by District Administration.
Photo Voter Slips are duly authenticated by Electoral Registration Officer and
distributed through Booth Level Officer as per the schedule for distribution
prepared by Returning Officer. The undistributed Photo Voter Slips shall be
kept by Booth Level Officer. No photocopy of Photo Voter Slip is allowed for
distribution purpose. Any unauthorized distribution/possession of Photo Voter
Slip shall be considered as violation of provisions of the Representation of the
People Act, 1951 and Indian Penal Code.
23. Polling Station: Polling station is the room/hall fixed for holding poll where
the electors of the concerned polling area cast their votes on the day of poll. It is
also referred to as ‘polling booth’.
24. Returning Officer: The Election Commission, in consultation with
the Government of the State, designates/nominates an officer of the State

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Government concerned, as Returning Officer for a constituency for election to


State Legislature or Parliament.
25. Screening Committee: To examine references of Model Code of Conduct
from various departments of State Government, a Screening Committee is
constituted in every State during elections. The Screening Committee is headed
by Chief Secretary and consisted of two other members. After clearance from the
Screening Committee, the Model Code references are sent for the approval of
the Election Commission through the Chief Electoral Officer of that State.
26. SVEEP: Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) is
a programme initiated by the Election Commission in 2011 to increase voter
awareness and facilitate electoral participation through voter registration and
turnout in the youths, women, tribal and other marginalized sections of the
society.
27. Threat of Divine Displeasure/Spiritual Censure: Any inducement or
attempt to induce electors to believe that they would become object of divine
displeasure or spiritual censure, if they cast votes or refrain from casting votes in
favour of a particular candidate.
28. Threat of Injury: The most common form of undue influence is to force a
voter to vote or not for a particular candidate, or not to vote in an election at all
by making threats of physical injury in case of any defiance of such dictate. Such
threats of physical injury may not be confined only to the voter concerned but
may also be directed against the third person, like, members of voter’s family or
any relatives or friends.
29. Undue Influence: Undue Influence, a major corrupt practice, implies to any
direct or indirect interference or attempt to interfere on the part of a candidate
or his election agent, with the free exercise of any electoral right. It amounts to a
threatening to any candidates or any elector or any person in whom the candidate
or elector is interested with injury of any kind including social ostracism and
excommunication or expulsion from any caste or community.
30. Vehicle: It means any vehicle used or capable of being used for the purpose
of road transport, whether propelled by mechanical power or otherwise. An
‘office vehicle’ will cover all vehicles belonging to the (i) Central Government,
(ii) State Government/UT Administrations, (iii) Public Section Undertakings
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of the Central and State governments, (iv) Joint Sector Undertakings of


Central and State Governments, (v) Local Bodies, (vi) Municipal Corporations,
(vii) Municipalities, (viii) Marketing Boards (by whatever name known), (ix)
Cooperative Societies, (x) Autonomous District Councils or any other body in
which public funds, howsoever small a portion of the total, are invested and
also include those belonging to the Ministry of Defence and the Central Public
Organizations under the Ministry of Home Affairs and State Governments.

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CHAPTER 1
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
1.1 In the Parliamentary system of democratic government which our Constitution
makers adopted for India, the political parties have an important place. Even
before the country achieved independence, political parties had been playing
a pivotal role in the freedom movement and participating in election system
available that time. However, our Constitution was silent altogether with regard
to existence of political parties, right upto 1985, when for the first time, their
existence came to be recognized by the Constitution when the Tenth Schedule was
inserted in the Constitution by the Constitution (Fifty Second amendment) Act,
1985 making political defection a ground for disqualification for membership of
Parliament and State Legislatures. Obviously, the Model Code of Conduct for
guidance of political parties and candidates did not find any place in the statutes.
1.2 Historically, the credit of giving idea of a model code for political parties should
go to State of Kerala, which adopted, for the first time, a code of conduct for
observance for political parties during the general election to the State Legislative
Assembly in February 1960. A draft code was voluntarily approved by the
representatives of the leading political parties of the State at a meeting specially
convened for the purpose by the state government. This code covered, in detail,
important aspects of electioneering, like meetings and processions, speeches and
slogans, posters and placards.
1.3 During general election to House of People and simultaneous elections to several
State Assemblies in 1962, the Election Commission circulated that code to all
the recognized political parties and it proved to be effective in conducting of
election campaigns in peaceful and orderly atmosphere in the country. The
political parties, by and large, followed the code.
1.4 The next general elections were held in 1967. The above code was again adopted
in Kerala at a conference of political parties held in December 1966. This
time, some more states came forward and followed the suit. In August 1966, a
conference of political parties was convened by Commissioner of Police, Madras
at which a code of conduct for observance during the ensuing general elections
was agreed upon, in principle. This was followed by a state level conference of
political parties held in December 1966 by the then Chief Minister of the Tamil
Nadu, in which a ten-point code for the guidance of political parties was evolved.

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A standing committee of seven persons representing different political parties was


also set up to look into complaints about the breach of the code. A similar draft
code was prepared and discussed in West Bengal in a meeting of political parties
convened by the then Chief Minister in January 1967. Though, there was no
consensus among the parties but they unanimously resolved to ensure that their
election campaigns were conducted peacefully and the authorities were assisted
in the conduct of a smooth, free and fair poll. A code drafted on practically the
same lines as the Madras code was accepted by the political parties in Andhra
Pradesh also, early in 1967.
1.5 During mid-term general elections in several states in 1968 and 1969, the
Election Commission prepared a document on minimum standard of conduct
and behaviour, entitled ‘Role and Responsibilities of Political Parties during
Elections: An Appeal to Political Parties for the Observance of a Minimum Code of
Conduct during Election Propaganda and Campaign’ and placed the same before
the political parties in the meetings held in each state.
1.6 The Election Commission reiterated similar appeals to the political parties at
the time of the next round of general elections to the House of the People and
certain State legislative assemblies in 1971-72.
1.7 On 1 January 1974, the Election Commission issued a revised Model Code
of Conduct. The Election Commission directed to the Chief Electoral Officers
to constitute district level standing committees, under the chairmanship of the
District Collectors concerned and consisting of representatives of all recognized
and registered political parties, to monitor cases of violation to the code.
1.8 A Code of Conduct was again circulated at the time of the general elections in
1977.
1.9 On 12 September, 1979, the Election Commission convened a conference of
political parties to discuss a more comprehensive Model Code of Conduct to
bring within its purview the role of ruling parties, so that they could not misuse
their official position for the furtherance of their prospects at the hustings. The
representatives of the political parties attending the meeting supported the idea
to revise Model Codes so as to incorporate suitable provisions for restricting the
government party. Accordingly, on the eve of the general election to the House
of the People in October 1979, the Election Commission issued a thoroughly
revised Model Code making it much more comprehensive and dividing it into
seven parts, devoting one full part (Part VII) to the role of party in power at the

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Centre and in the States.


1.10 Though by this time, Model Code had been in existence in some form or the
other for more than two decades, still it remained more or less a mild appeal and
its observance was mainly left to the good sense of political parties and candidates.
Rarely was any punitive action taken by any authority if any breach of the code
was observed. In 1980s, a view was emerging in the Election Commission that
the provisions of Model Code, particularly of Part VII thereof dealing with
ruling parties, should be provided statutory sanction by bringing them on the
statute book. Accordingly, the Election Commission made a proposal to the
Union Government to this effect. However, despite positive discussions in this
regard, no law was passed in the Parliament.
1.11 The 1991 general election was a watershed event in the course of evolution of
Model Code. That year, Model Code was further amplified and re-issued. It
still retained its form of 1979 document, though its contents, particularly of
Part VII, underwent some significant changes. From this election, the Election
Commission became more pro-active to ensure the observance of Model Code.
The Election Commission took the stand that Model Code came into operation
right from the day the election schedule was announced by it. But there was
disagreement between the Election Commission and the Central Government
and some of the State Governments on this point. The Governments were of the
view that Model Code became operational only when the formal notification of
election was issued.
1.12 In 1994, the Government of Andhra Pradesh challenged the Election Commission’s
stand regarding date of enforcement of Model Code, first, during bye election to
Kurnool Parliamentary Constituency and subsequently, during General Election
to the State Assembly. The matter went to the Supreme Court but no final
decision was given.
1.13 A definite view on this issue came from the Punjab & Haryana High Court in
Harbans Singh Jalal v/s Union of India & Others. In this matter, a writ petition
was filed against the Election Commission’s direction to make Model Code
applicable from the date of announcement of programme for General Election
to Punjab Legislative Assembly in December 1996. While upholding the
Election Commission’s direction, the High Court in its Order dated 27 May
1997, maintained that the Election Commission was entitled to take necessary
steps for conduct of a free and fair election even anterior to date of issuance
of notification, i.e., from the date of announcement of election. The Central
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Government, who was a party in the matter, filed a petition for special leave to
appeal in the Supreme Court against the ruling of the Punjab & Haryana High
Court but again no concrete view was given by the apex court.
1.14 After a series of meetings between the Election Commission and the Central
Government to resolve the issue, finally, an agreement was reached on 16 April,
2001 that Model Code would come into force from the date, the Election
Commission announces the schedule for any election, though a rider was added
that such announcement shall not ordinarily be made more than 3 weeks in
advance of the date of notification of that election. It was also agreed that
the inauguration of any completed projects or laying of foundation stone of
new projects may be done by the civil servants instead of ministers/political
functionaries so that public interest may not suffer because of the application of
Model Code. (Please refer to case no.2 ‘Union of India vs Harbans Singh Jalal’
of CHAPTER-23 LANDMARK JUDGEMENTS ON MODEL CODE).
Accordingly, Model Code was suitably modified by the Election Commission to
expressly make a provision in ‘Part VII Party in Power’ to both the above effects.
1.15 In February 2014, an additional Part VIII was added to Model Code to regulate
the issue of election manifestos by political parties pursuant to judgement
dated 5th July 2013 of the Supreme Court in S. Subramaniam Balaji v/s the
Government of Tamil Nadu & Others. (Please refer to case no.4 of CHAPTER-
23 LANDMARK JUDGEMENTS ON MODEL CODE)
1.16 It may be seen from the above description that Model Code has come a long
way since its inception in 1960s. From a passive document, it has evolved into
an effective and powerful tool in the hands of the Election Commission. Now,
not only the political parties and contesting candidates but the public servants
have also been brought in the ambit of Model Code. The Election Commission
has become more and more assertive to ensure observance of Model Code in its
true letter and spirit by all the stakeholders. Even the judiciary has recognized
the fact that the Election Commission is well entitled to take necessary steps as
per the provision of Model Code to ensure conduct of a free and fair election.
The Election Commission has been continuously taking steps and measures to
maintain high standards of public morality during election in a true democratic
spirit.
**********

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“No voter to be left behind”

CHAPTER 2
STATUS AND SCOPE OF MODEL CODE

Main topics discussed in 2.1 Introduction


the Chapter:- Model Code of Conduct for guidance of political
• Status of Model Code parties and candidates is a small but unique document
(Annexure- I). It contains the following 8 parts:-
• Provision of Enabling
Laws (i) Part I of Model Code lays stress on certain
minimum standards of good behaviour and conduct
• Scope of Supplementing of political parties, candidates and their workers and
Instructions supporters during the election campaigns;
(ii) Parts II and III deal with the holding of public
meetings and taking out processions by political parties and candidates;
(iii) Parts IV and V describe as to how political parties and candidates should
conduct themselves on the polling day and at the polling booths;
(iv) Part VI exhorts political parties and candidates to bring their complaints
to the notice of the observers appointed by the Election Commission for
remedial action;
(v) Part VII deals with the parties in power. This part is, in essence, the
flesh and blood of Model Code, which deals with several issues
relating to Government and its Ministers, such as visits of Ministers,
use of Government transport and Government accommodation,
announcements of various schemes and projects etc.
(vi) The newly added Part VIII says that election manifestoes shall not
contain anything repugnant to the ideals and principles enshrined in the
Constitution and further that it shall be consistent with the letter and
spirit of other provisions of Model Code.

2.2 Status of Model Code


2.2.1 Model Code is not a statutory document. Violation of many of its
provisions does not attract any punitive action. It is for that reason,
the Election Commission was earlier of the view that the provisions of
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“No voter to be left behind”

Model Code, particularly Part VII dealing with ruling parties should
be made part of law. Accordingly, in 1980s, the Election Commission
sent a proposal to the Union Government. The same was placed before
the Goswami Committee on electoral reforms for consideration and on
the Committee’s recommendation, the Government moved a proposal
to amend the Representation of the People Act, 1951 for the purpose
of inserting two new sections, namely, as 124 and 126A so as to make
some of the provisions of Model Code as illegal practices, punishable
with imprisonment for a term extending up to two years or with fine or
with both. The proposed amendment also sought to make the date of
notification of the election, and not the date of announcement of the
election, as date of enforcement of Model Code. But the bills moved in
the Parliament were not passed.
2.2.2 Meanwhile, the situation changed. Based on its experience of conducting
elections in varied scenario, the Election Commission now maintains
that bringing Model Code on the statute book would be a self-defeating
measure, because during elections, any violation of Model Code warrants
a quick decision and remedial measure, which may not be possible if the
matters are taken to the courts and become the subject of examination in
a regular judicial process. It is felt that any judicial pronouncement after
the election is already over, would have little relevance, and the Election
Commission has therefore withdrawn its proposal to give Model Code
a statutory backing. The Election Commission has been repeatedly
reiterating its view that Model Code will lose its whole efficacy if all its
provisions are converted into electoral offences or corrupt practices.

2.3 Provisions of Enabling Laws


2.3.1 Though Model Code does not have legal sanctity but several of its
provisions have enabling laws contained in the Indian Penal Code and
the Representation of the People Act, 1951. The following malpractices
mentioned in Model Code are listed as ‘corrupt practices’ and ‘electoral
offences’ in the Indian Penal Code and the Representation of the People
Act, 1951:-
(i) Indulgence in any activity which may aggravate existing differences
or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes

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and communities, religious or linguistic is a corrupt practice


under Section 123 (3A) of the Representation of the People Act,
1951.
(ii) Appeal to caste or communal feeling for securing votes and use
of Mosques, Churches, Temples or other places of worship as
forum for election propaganda is both a corrupt practice and an
electoral offence under Section 123 (3) and Section 125 of the
Representation of the People Act, 1951, respectively.
(iii) Bribery to voters is both a corrupt practice and an electoral offence
under Section 123 (1) of the Representation of the People Act,
1951 and Section 171B of the Indian Penal Code, respectively.
(iv) Intimidation of voters is an electoral offence under Section 135A
(C) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
(v) Impersonation of voters is an electoral offence under Section
171D of the Indian Penal Code.
(vi) Canvassing within 100 meters of polling stations is an electoral
offence under Section 130 of the Representation of the People
Act, 1951.
(vii) Holding of public meetings during the period of 48 hours ending
with the hour fixed for the close of the poll is an electoral offence
under Section 126 (1) of the Representation of the People Act,
1951.
(viii) Transport and conveyance of voters to and from polling stations
is both a corrupt practice and an electoral offence under Section
123 (5) and Section 133 of the Representation of the People Act,
1951, respectively.
(ix) Creating obstruction in or breaking up meetings and processions
of one political party by workers of other parties OR creating
disturbances at public meetings of one political party by workers
or sympathizers of other political parties by putting questions
orally or in writing or by distributing leaflets of their own party
OR taking out processions by one party along places at which
meetings are held by another party OR removing posters of one
party by workers of another party is an electoral offence under
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“No voter to be left behind”

Section 127 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.


(x) Serving or distributing liquor on polling day and during the forty
eight hours preceding it is an electoral offence under Section 135
(c) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
2.3.2 Any person/political party having a grievance in relation to any of the
above malpractices may take legal recourse under the relevant laws
mentioned above. As these provisions already exist in the statutes, no
purpose would be served even if Model Code is given legal status.

2.4 Scope of Supplementing Instructions


2.4.1 Model Code has been issued by the Election Commission under executive
powers and most of the principles embodied in it do not have force of law but as
the political parties have themselves consented to abide by them, they are bound
to respect and observe them. Secondly, with the support of public opinion the
Election Commission has a moral sanction to ensure observance of Model Code.
2.4.2 Besides, Article 324 of the Constitution vests vast responsibilities and powers in
the Election Commission. Where enacted laws are either silent or do not have
sufficient provisions to deal with any unforeseen circumstances during conduct
of elections, the Election Commission is entitled to issue instructions exercising
plenary power under Article 324 to ensure that the elections are conducted in
a free and fair manner. The Supreme Court observed in S. Subramaniam Balaji
that the Election Commission, in order to ensure level playing field between
the contesting parties and candidates in elections and also in order to see that
the purity of election process does not get vitiated, has been issuing instructions
under Model Code of Conduct. The fountainhead of the powers under which
the Election Commission issues these orders is Article 324 of the Constitution,
which mandates the Election Commission to hold free and fair elections. (Please
refer to case no. 4 of CHAPTER- 23 LANDMARK JUDGEMENTS ON
MODEL CODE)
2.4.3 The Election Commission has issued a plethora of instructions and taken
action, wherever necessary, against the political parties or persons violating these
directions. The Courts, from time to time, have upheld the Election Commission’s
such directions/ actions. To illustrate, in June 1993, the Election Commission
cancelled a bye election from Kalka Assembly Constituency in Haryana on the

14
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ground of violation of Model Code. The State Government challenged this in


the Punjab & Haryana High Court which granted an interim stay of Election
Commission’s order canceling the election. The Election Commission moved
an SLP in the Supreme Court and the apex court stayed the order of the High
Court. Similarly, at the time of a bye-election to Tamil Nadu Assembly in 2015,
the Election Commission’s order to cover paintings of leaves resembling party
symbol of the ruling party, on mini buses was challenged before the Madras
High Court but the Court held that the Election Commission’s said order was
within its jurisdiction under Article 324.

**********

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“No voter to be left behind”

CHAPTER-3
ENFORCEMENT OF MODEL CODE

Main topics discussed in 3.1 Introduction


the Chapter:- Model Code of Conduct is a singular contribution by
• Date of Enforcement political parties to the cause of democracy in India. It
ensures a level playing field in the arena of election,
• Duration of Application where the party in power cannot take any action in close
• Extent of Application proximity to announcement of election. As maintained
in several cases by the Supreme Court, the object of
• Who Are Covered Under
Model Code is that energy to do good by the party in
Model Code
power should not be used on the eve of elections, so as to
• Whether the Election derive any benefit during elections.
Commission Can Take
Action under Model Code 3.2 Date of Enforcement
Before Announcement Model Code of Conduct comes into operation
of Election right from the time and day, the election schedule is
• Applicability of Model announced by the Election Commission. The question
Code in Cases of in regard to date of enforcement of Model Code
Premature Dissolution stands conclusively settled with the agreement dated
of Legislative Assembly 16 April 2001 between the Election Commission and
Followed by the Caretaker the Central Government (Please refer to OM attached
Government in Position to case No.2 ‘Union of India Vs Harbans Singh Jalal’of
Till the Formation of CHAPTER- 23 LANDMARK JUDGEMENTS ON
New Government After MODEL CODE). This is also clear from clause (vi)
Fresh Election of Part VII of Model Code, which states that from
the time the elections are announced by the Election
• Whether Election Commission, the Ministers and other authorities shall
Related Campaign not do certain things. It was further endorsed by the
Activities Undertaken Supreme Court in its judgment dated 05 July 2013 in
By Persons Other Than S. Subramaniam Balaji v/s Government of Tamil Nadu
Political Parties and & Others wherein the court observed that Model Code
Candidates Are Covered becomes enforceable from the date of announcement
Under Model Code of the election programme (Please refer to case No.4 of
16
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CHAPTER- 23 LANDMARK JUDGEMENTS ON MODEL CODE). In


fact, Part VIII of Model Code relating to manifesto may come into force even
prior to the date of announcement of election, if a manifesto is issued by any
political party before such announcement.

3.3 Duration of Application


In the case of a general election to the House of the People or a State Legislative
Assembly, Model Code remains in operation till completion of election process
as per the election notification. In the case of a bye-election, Model Code will no
longer be in operation as soon as the result of the bye-election is declared by the
Returning officer.

3.4 Extent of Application


3.4.1 Model Code applies in relation to all elections to House of People and
State Assemblies. It is also applicable in case of elections to Legislative
Councils from Local Bodies, Graduates’ and Teachers’ Constituencies.
3.4.2 At the time of a general election to the House of the People or to a
state legislative assembly, Model Code applies throughout India or, as
the case may be, the state concerned. In the context of a bye-election,
it has a limited application in the district or districts in which the
Assembly/Parliamentary Constituency going to poll lies. Certain State
Governments requested the Election Commission to suitably modify
the instruction as application of Model Code in the entire district
during bye-election affects the developmental work in the whole of
the district whereas only a part of the district may be involved in the
election process. The Election Commission considered the issue and in
partial modification directed that in case the constituency going to bye-
election is comprised in the state capital/metropolitan city/municipal
corporation, Model Code would be applicable in the particular assembly
constituency segment only and not in the whole of the district. In all
other cases, Model Code would be enforced in the entire district(s)
covering the constituency going for bye-election(s).

3.5 Who Are Covered Under Model Code


The provisions of Model Code apply to all organizations/committees,

17
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corporations/ commissions etc, funded wholly or partially by the Central Govt. or


any State Govt. like the Commonwealth Games Organizing Committee, DDA,
Electricity Regulatory Commissions, Jal Boards, Transport Corporations, any
other development authority etc. Any action in contravention of the provisions
contained in Model Code including any publication of its advertisements by
them highlighting their achievements or announcing new subsidies, tariffs or
schemes would attract the provisions of Model Code and tantamount to violation
of the same.(Annexure –II)

3.6 Whether the Election Commission Can Take Action under Model
Code Before Announcement of Election
Normally, the Election Commission does not take cognizance of alleged
violation of Model Code before the announcement of election. In this regard,
an issue came up before the Election Commission in 2010, that Bahujan Samaj
Party, a recognized national party, had violated Model Code by erecting statues
of ‘elephant’, its reserved symbol, by using government funds. The Election
Commission maintained that it could not take cognizance of the alleged misuse
of official power and machinery by any political party during the non-election
period. The Election Commission’s stand was questioned before the Delhi High
Court in Common Cause vs Bahujan Samaj Party. After examining the relevant
provisions of the Symbols Order, the High Court came to the conclusion
that the election symbol of the party could not be frozen, as was prayed for by
the petitioner, by the Election Commission in view of the existing provisions,
though, the High Court observed that the parties in power should not use public
funds to promote their own election symbols or their leaders, even during non-
election period, and, therefore, requested the Election Commission to frame
some guidelines to achieve the above objectives.

3.7 Applicability of Model Code in Cases of Premature Dissolution of


Legislative Assembly Followed by the Caretaker Government in
Position Till the Formation of New Government After Fresh Election
The Election Commission has considered the matter of application of Model
Code in cases of premature dissolution of Legislative Assembly where a caretaker
government has been asked to carry on the administration of that State/UT for
the purposes of free, fair, transparent, and robust electoral process. On careful
consideration of the matter, keeping the observation of Hon’ble Supreme Court
18
“No voter to be left behind”

in S.R.Bommai and Ors Vs, Union of India & Ors. (1994), that the caretaker
Government should merely carry on the day-to-day Government and desist from
taking any major policy situation decision in view, the Election Commission has
directed the following:-
(i) In such an eventuality as described above, the provisions of Part-VII
(Party in Power) of the Model Code shall come into operation with
immediate effect in the State concerned and shall continue to be in
force till the completion of the election to constitute the new Legislative
Assembly;
(ii) The provisions of the aforesaid Part-VII of Model Code shall apply on
the caretaker State Government as well as on the Central Government
in so far as matters relating to that State are concerned;
(iii) Consequently, neither the caretaker State Government nor the Central
Government shall announce any new schemes, projects, etc. in respect
of that State or undertake any of the activities prohibited under the
aforesaid Part-VII of the Model Code;
(iv) All other prohibitions under Part-VII, such as use of official resources for
any non-official purposes, combining of official visit with electioneering
work, etc. shall apply on all Ministers and other authorities of the caretaker
State Government, the Central Government as well as Governments of
other States.

3.8 Whether Election Related Campaign Activities Undertaken By


Persons Other Than Political Parties and Candidates Are Covered
Under Model Code
3.8.1 During elections, complaints are received by the Election Commission
from various quarters against some social, cultural or religious
organizations, associations, formations etc., about making appeals
to electors amounting to election campaign in favour of, or against,
certain political parties or candidates, by holding congregations, yoga
shivirs, conclaves, meetings, processions, etc., or by invoking religion or
playing on the religious sentiments of electors to whom such appeals are
addressed.

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3.8.2 The Election Commission has laid down the following guidelines to be
observed in the matter of such campaigns by organizations and persons
other than political parties/candidates, during the period when Model
Code is in operation. (Annexure-III):-
(i) Nobody should invoke, in any manner, religion or religious
grounds in any manner, or any activities likely to create
disharmony among different classes or groups of people, in
his campaign. Such activities/ statements are prohibited being
offences under various provisions of the law, like, Section 125 of
the Representation of the People Act, 1951, Sections 153A, 153B,
l7lC, 295A and 505(2) of the Indian Penal Code and Religious
Institutions (Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1988.
(ii) Nobody should indulge in any activities or make any statements
that would amount to attack on personal life of any person or
statements that may be malicious or offending decency and
morality.
(iii) When persons and organizations seek permission to hold
public programmes, they should be asked to give a declaration/
undertaking to abide by the above guidelines.
(iv) The public programmes of such persons and organizations should
be closely monitored through videography. If anyone indulges in
violation of the above guidelines, the state and district authorities
concerned with the maintenance of proper law and order should
take appropriate remedial and penal actions expeditiously in
all such cases. Further, the District Administration shall ensure
that such persons who violated the undertaking are not granted
permission to hold any further programmes during the period of
that election.
(v) If the programmes involve incurring expense and amounts to
directly promoting the electoral prospects of any particular
candidate or candidates, prior special authority from the candidate
concerned for incurring the expense shall be obtained, in writing,
as required under Section l7l H of the Indian Penal Code, and
such authorization should be submitted to the District Election
20
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Officer within 48 hours. Any violation should result in action for


prosecuting the person concerned.

**********

21
“No voter to be left behind”

CHAPTER 4
SPECIAL MEASURES TAKEN BY THE
ELECTION COMMISSION TO ENFORCE
MODEL CODE

Main topics discussed in the 4.1 Introduction


Chapter:- At the time of each general election, the Election
• Standardization of Processing Commission issues directions to Union Government
of Model Code References and State Governments concerned to refrain from
received from Union making announcement for any major financial
Government and State initiative or undertaking any new developmental
Governments scheme/project which can be perceived as distorting
to the level playing field for all political parties.
 Transfer / postings
of election related 4.2 Standardization of Processing of Model
government officials Code References received from Union
 Enforcement of Model Government and State Governments
Code with announcement 4.2.1 Transfer/postings of election related
of election government officials:- Prior to the process starts for
 Direction to the Union general election in a State, the Election Commission
Government issues detailed guidelines on transfers/postings of all
government officials who are directly involved in
 Direction to State elections asking the State Government to shift out
Governments all such officers including police officers, who are
• Advisory to Political Parties posted in their home district and also those officers
and Candidates who have completed/completing 3 years tenure in
that district during last 4 years period. (For detailed
• DOs & DON’Ts for instructions, please refer to CHAPTER- 19 MODEL
Electioneering to be Followed CODE AND GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS)
by Political Parties and
Candidates 4.2.2 Enforcement of Model Code with
announcement of election:- The Election
Commission has made a clear cut protocol of communication between

22
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the Election Commission and Union Government/State Governments


on Model Code issues. As soon as the press note of programme of
election is issued by the Election Commission, instructions are sent to
Cabinet Secretary, Government of India and Chief Secretary of the State
Government concerned to disseminate the directions for compliance
and take immediate action for enforcement of Model Code.
4.2.3 The Election Commission has clarified that-
(i) Model Code related directions shall be issued only by the Election
Commission.
(ii) RBI may continue to take decisions unhindered on monetary
policy issues.
(iii) Ministry of Finance and other ministries will need to take
prior approval of the Election Commission on any policy
announcements, fiscal measures, taxation related issues and such
other financial relief.
4.2.4 Direction to the Union Government: For better coordination, the
Election Commission has directed the Cabinet Secretary that:-
(i) All the Government of India references which are proposed to
be placed before the Cabinet or any Committee of the Cabinet
should be routed through the Cabinet Secretariat i.e. no such
references should be made directly to the Election Commission
by the Ministries.
(ii) Departments, Sub-ordinate Offices, Public Sector Undertakings,
Autonomous Bodies of the Ministry/Department will make
references to the Election Commission through the concerned
Ministry. The Election Commission will require at least 48
hours to process the references, therefore, Ministries/Department
should send references well in time, for clearance.
(iii) A Nodal Officer may be designated in the Cabinet Secretariat with
whom the Election Commission may contact for any clarification
on such references.
4.2.5 During general election to State Legislative Assembly of Uttar Pradesh

23
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held in 2017, the Election Commission noted that in certain cases, the
Ministries/Departments, particularly NITI Aaayog, Ministry of Defence
and Ministry of Finance took decisions, which had effect of disturbing
level playing fields of poll bound states, without referring the matter
to the Election Commission. The Election Commission expressed its
concern in the matter and asked the Cabinet Secretary to issue necessary
instructions to all Ministries/Departments of Government of India
to strictly adhere to the Election Commission’s guidelines and also to
ensure that its concurrence is taken well in time, wherever it is needed.
4.2.6 Directions to State Governments:- Similarly, with announcement
of election, the Election Commission issues directions to the State
Governments to constitute Screening Committee headed by Chief
Secretary and consisted of Secretary/Principal Secretary of Co-ordination
Department/General Administration Department and Secretary/
Principal Secretary of the Department sending the proposal for approval
of the Election Commission. Chief Electoral Officers concerned shall
forward only such proposal which have been cleared by Screening
Committee, with his specific comments to the Election Commission.
The concerned department shall not send the original file to office of
the Chief Electoral Officer but only a self-contained reference be sent
through Screening Committee. Chief Electoral Officers shall not send
any reference to the Election Commission in cases where clear cut
instructions exist to deal with.

4.3 Advisory to Political Parties and Candidates


4.3.1 Model Code provides that political parties and candidates shall refrain
from criticism of all aspects of private life, not connected with the public
activities of the leaders and workers of other parties. It also provides that
no party or candidate shall indulge in any activity which may aggravate
existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between
different castes and communities, religious or linguistic, and there shall
be no appeal to caste or communal feelings for securing votes.
4.3.2 The Election Commission from time to time has also been issuing
general advisory to political parties to maintain high standard of
election campaign. Whenever instances of any violation came to notice

24
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of the Election Commission, it took serious view of such violation and


directed the concerned authorities to initiate necessary action against the
defaulting political functionaries:-
(i) At the time of 2004 general election, the Election Commission
expressed its severe displeasure against a BJP leader in Uttar
Pradesh allegedly for distributing sarees and directed the state
authorities to initiate criminal proceedings against the persons
involved, under Section 171B of Indian Penal Code. Similarly,
action was taken against then Union Railways Minister in 2005
Bihar Assembly elections, who was seen on print and electronic
media distributing currency notes to some electors.
(ii) During 2013 general election to State Assemblies in Chhattisgarh,
Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, the Election Commission while
expressing deep anguish on the progressively plummeting levels of
political discourse, put the political parties on notice that repeated
violation of Model Code may invite action against them. At the
general election to the Karnataka legislative assembly in 2013,
the Home Minister of the government of Maharashtra faced
the Election Commission’s displeasure over an objectionable
statement made at a private function in Belgaum.
(iii) At the time of general election 2014, the Election Commission
observed that then President of Bharatiya Janata Party and
one cabinet minister of Samajwadi Party government of Uttar
Pradesh, were indulging in some highly inflammatory speeches,
which had the effect of promoting feelings of enmity, hatred
and ill-will and creating disharmony between different religious
communities on the ground of religion. Taking serious note of the
above, the Election Commission directed the state government to
file necessary FIRs immediately and to take criminal proceedings
against the two leaders and also not to grant permission to them
for holding any public meetings, public processions, public rallies,
road shows, etc. Both of them were censured by the Election
Commission for the above violation of Model Code. BJP President
subsequently tendered an unqualified apology. Therefore, the
Election Commission gave him a second chance and permitted
25
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the state government authorities to grant permission for holding


his public meetings etc. As the said State Minister did not submit
his apology, ban on his public meetings, etc. continued during the
entire remaining period of that general election.
(iv) In the same general election, a leader and candidate of Jharkhand
Vikas Morcha was issued warning for breach of Model Code as he
had made a written appeal to all churches in Dumka in Jharkhand
for support in that election.
(v) Likewise, during general election to Legislative Assembly of Bihar
in 2015, then President of Janata Dal (U) and a star campaigner
of BJP were cautioned for violation of provisions of Model Code
during election campaigning.
(vi) During general election to Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly in
2017, a sitting MP belonging to BJP was found to be making
certain statements to the effect of promoting enmity between
different classes of society on the ground of religion and the
Election Commission censured him.
4.3.3 In 2017, the Election Commission in a circular letter to all recognized
political parties maintained that it will not remain silent spectator
and will take stern action for any violation under the available powers
(Annexure- IV). The Election Commission has issued directions to the
State governments to keep thorough watch on meetings of the political
parties and get video-graphed the same to see whether ‘caste’ is being
used for political/electoral purpose. The Election Commission has also
issued instructions to track campaigns of star campaigners of the political
parties under the provision of Section 77(1) of the Representation of the
People’s Act, 1951.

4.4 DOs & DON’Ts for Electioneering to be Followed by Political Parties


and Candidates
4.4.1 The Election Commission has drawn up a list of ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’
to be followed by political parties and contesting candidates after the
announcement of elections and till the completion of the process of
elections. The Election Commission has directed that this be given

26
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the widest possible publicity in the official language of the State and
its contents brought to the knowledge of all candidates and political
parties. (Annexure V)
4.4.2 It must be made clear to the political parties that the list of Dos’ and Dont’s
is only illustrative (not exhaustive) and is not intended to substitute or
modify other detailed directions/instructions on the concerned subjects,
and must be strictly observed and followed.
(A) DOs
(i) To ensure a level playing field, public places like maidans and
helipads must be available impartially to all parties/contesting
candidates.
(ii) During elections, criticism of other political parties and candidates
should be restricted only to their policies, programs, past records
and works.
(iii) The right of every individual for peaceful and undisturbed home
life should be fully safeguarded.
(iv) The local police authorities should be fully informed and necessary
permission be taken well in time, of the venue and time of the
proposed meetings.
(v) Restrictive or prohibitory orders in force, if any, in the place of
the proposed meeting, shall be fully respected. Exemption, if
necessary, must be applied for and obtained, well in time.
(vi) Permission must be obtained for use of loudspeakers or any other
such facilities for the proposed meetings.
(vii) Police assistance should be obtained in dealing with persons
disturbing meetings or creating disorder.
(viii) The time and place of the starting and termination of any procession
and the route to be followed should be finalized in advance and
prior permissions obtained from the police authorities.
(ix) Traffic regulations and restrictive orders, in force of the localities,
enroute of the procession should be ascertained and fully complied

27
“No voter to be left behind”

with.
(x) The passage of the procession must be without hindrance to
traffic.
(xi) Cooperation should be extended to all election officials to ensure
peaceful and orderly poll.
(xii) All political workers engaged in electioneering must display
badges or identity cards.
(xiii) Unofficial identity slips issued to voters shall be on the plain
(white) paper and not contain any symbol and name of the party
or name of the candidate.
(xiv) Restrictions on plying of vehicles during the campaign period and
on poll day shall be fully obeyed.
(xv) Any complaint or problem regarding the conduct of elections shall
be brought to the notice of the Election Commission’s Observer/
Returning Officer/Zonal/Sector Magistrate/Chief Electoral
Officer/Election Commission of India.
(xvi) Directions/orders/instructions of the Election Commission/
Returning Officer/District Election Officer, in all matters related
to various aspects of elections, shall be strictly complied with.
(xvii) Do leave the constituency after the campaign period is over if you
are not a voter or a candidate or candidate’s election agent from
that constituency.
(xviii) The political parties should ensure that no payment in excess of
Rs. 10,000 is made in cash, in a day, to any person/company/
entity, except where
(a) the payment is made in a village or town, which is not
served by a bank;
(b) the payment is made to any employee or party functionary
towards salary, pension or for reimbursement of his
expenses;
(c) cash payment is required under any statute.
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“No voter to be left behind”

(B) DON’Ts
(i) No official work should be mixed with campaigning/electioneering.
No inducement, financial or otherwise, shall be offered to the
voter.
(ii) No appeal on basis of caste/communal feelings of the electors.
(iii) No activity, which may aggravate existing differences or create
mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes/
communities/ religious/linguistic groups, shall be attempted.
(iv) No aspect of the private life, not connected with the public
activities, of the leaders or workers of other parties shall be
criticized.
(v) No criticism of other parties or their workers on basis of unverified
allegations or on distortions.
(vi) No use of temples/mosques/churches/gurudwaras or any place
of worship for election propaganda, including speeches, posters,
music etc., or electioneering.
(vii) Activities, which are corrupt practices or electoral offences such
as bribery, undue influence, intimidation of voters, personation,
canvassing within 100 meters of a polling station, holding of
public meetings during the period of 48 hours ending with the
hour fixed for the close of the poll and conveyance of voters to
and from polling stations, are prohibited.
(viii) Demonstrations or picketing before house of any individual, by
way of protesting against their opinion or activities shall not be
resorted to.
(ix) In order to maintain purity of elections and bring transparency
in process of elections, political parties are advised to avoid
transactions in cash and instruct their office bearers, official,
agents and candidates not to carry huge amount of cash during
elections.
(x) No disturbances shall be created in public meetings or processions
organized by other political parties or candidates.

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“No voter to be left behind”

(xi) No processions along places where another party is holding


meetings.
(xii) Processionists shall not carry any articles, which are capable of
being misused as missiles or weapons.
(xiii) Posters issued by other parties and candidates shall not be removed
or defaced.
(xiv) Posters, flags, symbols or any other propaganda material shall
not be displayed in the place being used on the day of poll for
distribution of identity slips or near polling booths.
(xv) No use of loudspeakers whether static or mounted on moving
vehicles, between 10.00 p.m. and 6.00 a.m.
(xvi) No use of loudspeakers at public meetings and processions without
prior written permission of the authorities concerned. Normally,
such meetings/processions will not be allowed to continue beyond
10.00 p.m. in the night and will be further subject to the local
laws, local perceptions of the security arrangements of the area
and other relevant considerations like weather conditions, festival
season, examination period, etc.
(xvii) No liquor should be distributed during elections.
**********

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“No voter to be left behind”

CHAPTER 5
ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEW SCHEMES-
RESTRICTION ON FINANCIAL &
ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS

Main topics discussed in the 5.1 Introduction


Chapter:- 5.1.1 Model Code restricts announcement of
• Consolidated Guidelines new schemes/projects and also grant of new reliefs
after the announcement of elections. The Election
• Presentation of Annual Commission has directed that ministers and other
Budget authorities shall not-
• Announcement of Financial  announce any financial grants, in any form, or,
Grants/Concessions/Relief/
Subsidy Payment out of  make promises thereof, or,
Discretionary Funds & MP/  lay foundation stones etc. of projects or schemes
MLA LADS of any kind; or,
• Permission to Regular  make any promise of construction of roads,
Financial Matters of Statutory provision of drinking water facilities etc.,
Requirement
which have the effect of influencing voters in favour
• Waiving Off of Recoveries of the party in power.
and Bad Debts by State
5.1.2 In 1993, the Election Commission cancelled
Government Financial
all together a bye-election to Haryana State Assembly
Institutions
from Kalka Assembly constituency on the ground of
• Restriction on Ad Hoc announcement of certain new development schemes
Appointments by the then Chief Minister of the State, in violation
• Instances of Restriction of Model Code. Almost simultaneously, the Election
on Other Administrative Commission also cancelled a bye-election from
Decisions Ranipet Assembly Constituency in Tamil Nadu,
where also, the then Chief Minister of the State
announced certain new projects, in breach of Model
Code.

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“No voter to be left behind”

5.1.3 The Election Commission has instructed the Chief Electoral Officers of
States to obtain, within 72 hours of announcement of elections, list of
all those works which have already been started on ground and also list
of fresh work not started so far, for referencing, in case of validating any
complaint on violation of Model Code.
5.1.4 These Model Code restrictions apply equally to new schemes and also
ongoing schemes. But enforcement of Model Code cannot be given as
an excuse for not commissioning of the public utility schemes which
are at the stage of completion or for allowing them to remain idle.
Commissioning of such schemes can be done by civil authorities without
any fanfare or ceremonies and without associating political functionaries,
though the political functionaries may attend the functions as ordinary
participants. In a bye-election in Kerala in March-April 1994, on the
Election Commission’s directions, the new railway line between Thrissur
and Guruvayoor in Kerala, which was scheduled to be inaugurated by
the Prime Minister, was commissioned by the officials of the railways
and state government. Similarly, during general election to Karnataka
State Assembly in 2018, a reference was received from Ministry of
Defence that the Defence Minister was proposed to grace a function at a
Bangalore plant as Chief Guest and to hand over first metro train set to
Chairman, Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation. The Election Commission
directed to the Ministry to invite a civil servant as chief guest in the
function and do the honours, with other standard conditions.
5.1.5 Where the funds are needed to make payments for the completed work,
the release of such funds is not objected to. For instance, during the
general election to the Karnataka legislative assembly in 2013, Union
Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises was allowed to
release the margin money subsidy of Rs 26 crores to the Government
of Karnataka under the Prime Minister’s Employment Guarantee
Programme as per the scheme guidelines, but without any publicity
being given to such release of funds. Likewise, the Central government
was permitted to release the remaining grant of Rs 15 crores to that state
government under ‘One Time Additional Central Assistance for Annual
Plan 2012-13’ without any publicity.

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“No voter to be left behind”

5.2 Consolidated Guidelines


5.2.1 During general elections to the House of the People and certain State
Legislative Assemblies in 2009, on request from some State Governments
for relaxation in instructions on humanitarian ground, the Election
Commission revisited its existing instructions and issued consolidated
guidelines with modifications or clarifications, wherever necessary, on 5
March 2009 (Annexure VI ). These guidelines are as detailed below:
Financial matters
(i) Model Code related directions shall be issued only by the Election
Commission.
(ii) The Cabinet Secretariat or any other government agency
should reiterate and disseminate the directions of the Election
Commission for compliance.
(iii) All references from Government of India to the Election
Commission shall be made preferably through the Cabinet
Secretariat.
(iv) In so far as reference from State Governments are concerned,
the same shall be made to the Election Commission through the
Chief Electoral Officer of the State concerned after getting cleared
from the Screening Committee.
(v) Reserve Bank of India may continue to take decisions unhindered
on monetary policy issues.
(vi) Ministry of Finance will need to take prior approval of the Election
Commission on any policy announcements, fiscal measures,
taxation related issues and such other financial relief. Similarly,
other ministries and departments will need to take prior approval
of the Election Commission before announcing any relief or
benefit.
(vii) The following types of existing works can be continued by
the government agencies without reference to the Election
Commission:

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“No voter to be left behind”

(a) work-projects that have actually started on the ground after


obtaining all necessary sanctions;
(b) beneficiary-projects where specific beneficiaries have been
identified, by name, before coming of Model Code into
force;
(c) registered beneficiaries of MNREGA may be covered under
existing projects. New projects under MNREGA that may
be mandated under the provisions of the Act may be taken
up only if it is for the already registered beneficiaries and
the project is already listed in the approved and sanctioned
shelf of projects for which funds are also already earmarked.
(d) there shall be no bar to release of funds for the completed
portion of any work subject to observance of laid down
procedures and concurrence of Finance Department.
(e) payments directly to the hospitals from Chief Minister’s
Relief Fund/Prime Minister’s Relief Fund, in lieu of direct
cash payment to individual patients (beneficiaries), will be
permissible without reference to the Election Commission;
(viii) Following types of new works (whether beneficiary or work
oriented) can be taken up under intimation to the Election
Commission only if they fulfill the given conditions before
Model Code comes into effect (in case of any of the conditions
not being met, prior approval of the Election Commission shall
be obtained).
(a) full funding has been tied up;
(b) administrative, technical and financial sanctions have been
obtained;
(c) tender has been floated, evaluated and awarded;
(d) in case there is contractual obligation to start and end the
work within a given time frame and failing which there is
an obligation to impose penalty on the contractor; and
(e) emergency relief works and measures that are aimed at
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“No voter to be left behind”

mitigating the hardships, directly and solely, of the persons


affected in a disaster may be taken up under intimation to
the Election Commission;
(ix) The following types of activities will require prior permission of
the Election Commission:
(a) new works and projects cannot be taken up from
discretionary funds of whatever nature. (Discretionary
fund, in this context, includes funds, which are provided
for in the budget in a generic manner and for which no
identified and sanctioned project exists prior to Model
Code coming into effect)
(b) proposals for revival of sick public sector undertakings,
governmental takeover of enterprises, etc. (or any policy
decision on similar lines) cannot be taken up
(c) fresh auctions of liquor vends, etc., cannot be held even if
the annual auction time falls within Model Code period.
Where necessary, the government should make interim
arrangements as provided in its respective laws;
(d) area of operation of any existing project or scheme or
programme cannot be extended or expanded;
(e) no land allocation shall be made by the government to any
entity, whether individual or an enterprise; and
(f ) signing an MOU or an agreement where the government
is a party will also require prior clearance by the Election
Commission.
(g) tendors other than global tenders, if already floated may be
evaluated but not finalized. If these are not floated, shall
not be floated without prior permission of the Election
Commission.
(h) where works are to be undertaken or functions are to be
held in fulfillment of international commitments, prior
concurrence of the Election Commission shall be taken.

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“No voter to be left behind”

(i) ex-gratia payments and gratuitous relief in the aftermath


of a disaster can be given directly to the persons affected at
the current rates or scales of assistance presently in force,
under intimation to the Election Commission. No change
in the extant and prescribed scales of payments, however,
shall be made in the existing rates or scales without prior
permission of the Election Commission;
(j) however, new works that may be necessitated by way of
preventive measures to mitigate the likely effects of natural
disasters, like repair of embankments, water channels etc.
can be taken up only with prior permission of the Election
Commission;
(k) also, an area shall not be declared drought or flood affected
or any such calamity affected without prior approval of the
Election Commission. The extent of area already declared
to be calamity-affected cannot be expanded without prior
approval of the Election Commission; and
(l) similarly, any selective assistance to a group of persons
from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund/Prime Minister’s
Relief Fund will require prior approval of the Election
Commission.
(x) Global tenders already floated, can be evaluated and finalized
where any time limits are specified for such purpose. Tenders other
than global tenders, that are already floated may be evaluated but
not finalized without prior approval of the Election Commission.
If they are not already floated, they shall not be floated without
prior approval of the Election Commission.
(xi) While starting any work (including any relief work) or development
activity, no formal function shall be held involving any political
functionary. As a matter of good practice, normal functions and
publicity even with the presence of official functionaries should
be kept to the minimum.
(xii) Regular recruitment or appointment or promotion through

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“No voter to be left behind”

the UPSC, State Public Service Commissions or Staff Selection


Commission or any other statutory authority can continue.
Recruitments through non-statutory bodies will require prior
clearance of the Election Commission.
5.2.2 In subsequent General elections, these guidelines are being reiterated
and issued with necessary additions/clarifications.

5.3 Presentation of Annual Budget


5.3.1 As per the established practice in the country, union budget for a fiscal
year is presented to the Parliament in the month of February. The
Election Commission, in deference to the State Legislatures, and having
regard to convention and propriety, has not laid down any precept or
prescribed a course of action for presentation of annual budgets, though
an advisory was issued to all states at the time of 2009 general elections
(Annexure VII).
5.3.2 In absence of clear and specific guidelines on this issue, different views
have been taken during different elections. At several occasions in the
past, presentation of annual budget was deferred. In January 2000, the
Election Commission announced the programme for the general elections
to the legislative assemblies of Bihar and Odisha. A session of the Bihar
Legislative Assembly had already been called before the announcement
of elections and that session was scheduled to commence on 10 January
2000. During that session, state budget was to be presented. However,
the state government decided overnight not to present the budget or seek
the vote-on-account in that session. Even the customary address of the
Governor of the State to be made on the inaugural day of the session was
substantially pruned down, so as to avoid any mentioning of the state
government’s achievements during the previous year or announcement
of any new schemes or welfare measures in the coming year.
5.3.3 In some cases, State Governments and even the Parliament, instead of
presenting full budget, sought only a vote on account for 3-4 months.
5.3.4 During general elections to Legislative Assemblies of Goa, Manipur,
Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh in January-March 2017, the
Election Commission allowed the Union government to present budget

37
“No voter to be left behind”

with the direction that no state specific schemes shall be announced


in the national budget which may have the effect of influencing the
electors of the five poll going states in favour of the ruling party(ies) and
in the budget speech, the Government’s achievements in respect of said
five states will not be highlighted in any manner. It was also expected
from the government that the advice given by the Election Commission
in that letter No.437/6/INST/2009-CC&BE dated 9th March, 2009
will also be duly kept in view by the government at the time of the
presentation of the budget (Annexure VII). During general elections
to State Assemblies of Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura in 2018, the
Election Commission allowed the presentation of union budget and
related programme on AIR.

5.4 Announcement of Financial Grants/Concessions/Relief/Subsidy


5.4.1 The Election Commission invariably takes a humanitarian view on the
works that are necessitated due to man made and natural calamities. It does
not refuse approval for schemes undertaken for tackling emergencies or
for providing relief to people suffering from drought, floods, pestilences,
other natural calamities or welfare measures for the aged, infirm etc.
In these matters, however, prior approval of the Election Commission
should be taken and all ostentatious functions should be strictly avoided
and no impression should be given or allowed to be created that such
welfare measures or relief and rehabilitation works are being undertaken
by the Government in office so as to influence the electors in favour of
the party in power.
5.4.2 The Election Commission has directed (Annexure VI) that:
(i) Ex-gratia payments and gratuitous relief in aftermath of a disaster
can be given directly to the persons affected, at the current rates/
scales of assistance presently in force, under intimation to the
Election Commission. No change in the extant and prescribed
scales of payments, however, shall be made in the existing rates/
scales without prior permission of the Election Commission.
(ii) The Election Commission has no objection to release of PM’s/
CM’s Relief Fund for the medical treatments, provided selection

38
“No voter to be left behind”

of beneficiaries/patients are done by the concerned Government


officials/head of the concerned private hospitals. Payment directly
to the hospitals from CM’s/PM’s Relief Fund, in lieu of direct cash
payment to individual patients (beneficiaries) will be permissible
without reference to the Election Commission.
(iii) Emergent relief works and measures that are aimed to mitigate the
hardships, directly and solely, of the persons affected in a disaster
may be taken up under intimation to the Election Commission.
(iv) However, new works that may be necessitated by way of preventive
measures to mitigate the likely effects of natural disasters like
repair of embankments, water channels etc. can be taken up only
with prior permission of the Election Commission.
(v) Also, an area shall not be declared drought/flood affected or any
such calamity affected without prior approval of the Election
Commission. The extent of area already declared to be calamity-
effected cannot be expanded without prior approval of the
Election Commission.
(vi) Similarly, any selective assistance to a group of persons from the
Prime Minister’s/Chief Minister’s Relief Fund will require prior
approval of the Election Commission.
(vii) Ministers and other authorities shall not sanction grants/payments
out of discretionary funds.
5.4.3 Implementation of relief work in drought affected areas:- During 2004
general elections, the Election Commission approved the following
modalities of implementing relief work in areas which have been declared
as “drought affected” (Annexure VIII):-
(i) The drought relief works by way of immediate relief measures
to be taken up by the State Governments shall only be in the
areas which have been declared as “’drought affected” within
the parameters laid down under the guidelines for managing of
Calamity Relief Fund by the Central Government. No new areas
are to be added to the existing list of such “drought affected” areas
after the announcement of elections. Addition of any additional

39
“No voter to be left behind”

area/village will only be subject to obtaining prior concurrence


of the Election Commission after following due procedure for
seeking assistance under the Calamity Relief Fund/ National
Relief Fund specified by the Government of India for operation
of such funds.
(ii) To provide immediate relief in the areas declared as drought
affected, the Election Commission approved the following
measures on provisional basis:-
(a) Provision of drinking water by way of water tankers.
(b) Digging of bore-wells as well as dug-wells in scarcity areas
on account of drying of the existing bore-wells/dug-wells.
(c) Provision of rice/wheat at prescribed rates for distribution
among the destitute without support and who cannot
go for work as per mechanism already prescribed in the
Calamity Relief Fund Scheme.
(d) Provision of fodder for cattle.
(e) New works on wage employment (Food for work etc.)
where such existing works have been completed.
(iii) No minister of the Government or a political functionary will be
associated in the management of the drought relief operations in
any capacity, supervisory or otherwise.
(iv) The entire relief operation would be taken up by the Division,
District and Taluka/sub-District Administration without
involving elected representatives and/or non-officials at any level.

5.5 Payment out of Discretionary Funds & MP/MLA LADS


5.5.1 The constitutional validity of the members of Parliament Local Area
Development (MPLAD) Scheme was questioned before the Supreme
Court in Bhim Singh v Union of India and Ors. It was contended that
the scheme gave unfair advantage to sitting members of Parliament in as
much as they could utilize the funds available to them to induce voters in
their favour. However, the Supreme Court rejected the contention and

40
“No voter to be left behind”

observed that spending from the MPLAD fund is subject to provisions


of the Representation of the People’s Act, 1951 and regulations of the
Election Commission. In this connection, the Election Commission has
instructed that no new schemes shall be sanctioned under the MPLAD
scheme during the period Model Code is in force. Even where some
sanction under the scheme has already been granted but the work has
not commenced on ground at the time of coming into force of the Model
Code, such work shall not be taken up and executed till completion of
the election.
5.5.2 Release of funds under the MPLAD Schemes will be subject to the
following restrictions (Annexure IX):-
(i) No fresh release of funds under MPLAD (including Rajya Sabha
members) Fund shall be made in any part of the country where
election is in progress. Similarly, no fresh release of funds under
the MLAs’/ MLCs’ LAD Fund shall be made, if any such scheme
is in operation, till completion of election process.
(ii) No work shall start in respect of which work orders have been
issued before the period Model Code comes in operation but the
work has actually not started in the field. These works can start
only after completion of election process. However, if a work has
actually started, that can continue.
(iii) There shall be no bar to the release of payments for completed
work(s) subject to full satisfaction of the concerned officials.
(iv) Where schemes have been cleared and funds are provided or
released and materials procured and reached the site, such scheme
may be executed as per programme.

5.6 Permission to Regular Financial Matters of Statutory Requirement


The Election Commission allowed revision of wages rates under MGNREGA
during general election to Karnataka State Assembly 2018 with subject to the
standard conditions, as it is an annual feature and does not involve any new
policy. Similarly, issue of notification on recommendation of Committee on
GST Council meeting was permitted as the said financial matter was of statutory
requirement with all India bearing. Likewise, the Election Commission also
41
“No voter to be left behind”

permitted increase of EPF credit rate and reduction in rate of administrative


charges payable by employer under EPF scheme.

5.7 Waiving Off of Recoveries and Bad Debts by State Government


Financial Institutions
The Election Commission has taken a view that financial institutions funded,
partly or wholly, by the State Governments should not take recourse to writing
off loans advanced to any individual, company, firm, etc. during the period
when Model Code is in force, without the prior concurrence of the Election
Commission. Similarly, the financial limits that these institutions have to adhere
to while granting or extending loans should not be enhanced by issuing of loans
indiscriminately to beneficiaries during Model Code period.
Administrative Matters

5.8 Restriction on Ad Hoc Appointments


5.8.1 Model Code envisages that during the period of its operation, no ad hoc
appointments in government, public undertakings, etc. shall be made,
which may have the effect of influencing the voters in favour of the party
in power.
5.8.2 The policy of the Election Commission, has been that it does not
object to the appointments/regular recruitment/promotions made on
the results or recommendations of the Union or State Public Service
Commissions, Staff Selection Commission or other such statutory
bodies or regular promotions on the recommendations of departmental
promotion committees. But in certain cases, even regular appointments
being made in the normal course on the basis of due selection by the
authorities concerned have been deferred till after the completion of
elections.
5.8.3 Recruitment through non-statutory bodies will require prior clearance of
the Election Commission. Normally, wherever the Election Commission
considers that the matter is not of extreme urgency and could wait till
the completion of the election process, it advises the government to
defer such appointments for the time being. Some of the important
proposals of appointments so deferred by the Election Commission

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“No voter to be left behind”

during elections held in past years was:-


(i) reconstitution of the Delhi Urban Art Commission,
(ii) reconstitution of the National Board for Wildlife,
(iii) restructuring of the Brahmaputra Board into the Brahmaputra
River Basin Authority,
(iv) nomination of private individuals as chairmen of the governing
councils of four new National Institutes of Design,
(v) appointment of member in the National Commission For
Scheduled Tribes,
(vi) appointment of the Chairman, Central Board of Film Certification,
(vii) appointment of advisory panel members in the Regional Centres
of CBFC and
(ix) nomination of three non-official members of the Central Silk
Board.

5.9 Instances of Restriction on Other Administrative Decisions


5.9.1 The Election Commission did not permit modification of lists of ‘other
backward classes (OBC)’ and such other special categories of people by
some of the state governments at the time of the general election to the
House of the People in 1998, as that could be construed and perceived
as being done with a view to influencing certain sections of the electorate
and providing unfair advantage to the ruling parties.
5.9.2 Similarly, the setting up of the National Commission for Welfare of
Socially and Economically Backward Sections among Religious and
Linguistic Minorities by the Central Government in October 2004 when
general elections were in progress to some state legislative assemblies,
was considered by the Election Commission as violation of Model Code.
5.9.3 Likewise, the Election Commission did not accept proposals of the
governments of Madhya Pradesh and Haryana for creation of some
new districts on the eve of the general elections to the state legislative
assemblies in 2003 and 2005, respectively.

**********
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“No voter to be left behind”

CHAPTER 6
PUBLICATION OF ADVERTISEMENTS AT
COST OF PUBLIC EXCHEQUER

Main topics discussed in the 6.1 Introduction


Chapter :- 6.1.1 Use of public funds on government
• Supreme Courts’ Guidelines advertisements during elections has been a major
concern to the Election Commission. The primary
• Consolidated Guidelines objective of government advertisements is to use
• Display of Advertisements public funds to inform the public of their rights,
and Hoardings At the Cost of obligations and entitlements as well as to explain
Public Exchequer government policies, programmes, services and
initiatives. But the general practice is that large
• Publication of Advertisements
boards and hoardings are erected, at government cost,
in Non Poll Going States
on road sides giving information about the works
• Publication of Advertisements executed by MPs/MLAs with their photographs
in Connection with Special from out of their local areas development funds.
Occasions/Days
6.1.2 Model Code restricts issue of
• Continuation of Aadhaar advertisements at the cost of public exchequer in
Related Publicity in Various newspapers and other media and misuse of official
States media for partisan coverage of political news and
publicity regarding achievements of the party in
power with a view to furthering its prospects in elections.
6.1.3 During 2004 parliamentary elections, a question was raised whether all
such boards and hoardings should be removed. During the same elections,
the Election Commission gave instructions that all publicity hoardings
put up by the State governments on the eve of elections highlighting their
achievements, may be removed. The Election Commission directed that
photographs of MPs/MLAs be suitably covered. The same instruction
was applied in the case of photograph of the Prime Minister on publicity
boards displayed on main highways, newly laid or improved under the
Prime Minister’s Golden Quadrilateral Scheme.

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“No voter to be left behind”

6.1.4 The Election Commission also directed that advertisements highlighting


welfare schemes and achievements of the Central and State Governments
being published in the newspapers having circulation in poll-bound
states shall be forwarded to the Election Commission for clearance.
6.1.5 In 2009 general elections, the Election Commission considered certain
advertisements in some newspapers by Union Bank of India and Canara
Bank highlighting their achievements to be violation of Model Code
and cautioned Chairmans and Managing Directors of the banks to be
careful in future.
6.1.6 During the general election to the Karnataka Legislative Assembly
in 2013, the Government proposed to release some TV spots and
advertisements relating to a conference of World Trade Organization held
in Hyderabad. The Government was permitted to telecast the proposed
TV spots on TV channels in Andhra Pradesh and also to publish the
advertisements, on the condition that the slides containing photographs
of political leaders were omitted and the advertisements with names and
photographs of the Prime Minister, Union Minister of State for Tourism
and Chairperson of United Progressive Alliance, were not published in
newspapers being published/having circulation in Karnataka.
6.1.7 At the time of a bye-election to Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly in
2015, the Election Commission issued an order to cover paintings of
leaves resembling the symbol of the ruling party appearing on mini buses
plying in the state. The Madras High Court, before whom the order of
the Election Commission was challenged, held that the impugned order
was passed by the Election Commission in the interest of voters and
that it had not interdicted policy decision enunciated by any authority
and thus the order was within jurisdiction of the Election Commission
under Article 324 of the Constitution.

6.2 Supreme Courts’ Guidelines


6.2.1 On a petition from ‘Common Cause’ for laying down appropriate
guidelines to regulate government advertisements during elections, the
Supreme Court constituted a Committee in 2014 for deliberation in
the matter. On the basis of suggestions received from the Committee,

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“No voter to be left behind”

on 13 May 2015, the Supreme Court issued guidelines under Article


142 of the Constitution, till the period Parliament/government frames
appropriate policy. The essence of the guidelines is as follows:
(i) Display material must be presented in objective language and be
free of political argument or partisan standpoint.
(ii) Government advertising shall maintain political neutrality and
avoid glorification of political personalities and projecting a
positive impression of the party in power or a negative impression
of parties critical of the government.
(iii) Advertisement materials must not-
(a) mention the party in government, by name;
(b) directly attack views or actions of others in opposition;
(c) include any party/political symbol or logo or flag;
(d) aim to influence public support for a political party, candidate
for election;
Or
(e) refer to link to websites of political parties or politicians;
(iv) Government advertisement materials should avoid photographs
of political leaders and if it is felt essential for effective government
messaging, only the photographs of the President/Prime Minister
should be used;
(v) Government advertisements shall not be used at patronizing
media houses or aimed at receiving favourable reporting for the
party or person in power.
(vi) In such government advertisements only the photographs of the
President, Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India alone
should be published and that too may be decided by the above
constitutional functionaries themselves.
6.2.2 Subsequently, on consideration of the review petitions filed by the Central
Government and several State Governments, the Supreme Court modi-
fied the above guidelines by its order dated 18 March 2016 and permitted

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“No voter to be left behind”

publication of photographs of the Governor and Chief Ministers of the


states also in the government advertisements. Further, the court also al-
lowed publication of photographs of Cabinet Minister/Minister in charge
of the concerned ministry in lieu of photograph of the Prime Minister, and
likewise, publication of photograph of the Minister/Minister in charge of
the concerned department of the state government was allowed in lieu of
photograph of the Chief Minister, if so desired. The Ministry of Informa-
tion and Broadcasting, in compliance with the Supreme Court’s directions
dated 13 May 2015, constituted a three member Committee under Sh. B.
B. Tandon, former Chief Election Commissioner to address the issues relat-
ed to content regulation in government advertising.

6.3 Consolidated Guidelines


6.3.1 In 2004, the Election Commission issued detailed instructions on
publication of government advertisements (Annexure X). Later on more
instructions were issued, which are summarized as follows:
(i) No advertisements shall be issued in electronic and print media
highlighting the achievements of the Govt. at the cost of public
exchequer. If any advertisement has already been released for
telecast/broadcast or publication in the print media, it must be
ensured that telecast/broadcast of such ads on electronic media
is stopped forthwith and that no such ad is published in any
newspapers, magazines, etc., i.e. in print media, from the date of
announcement and it should be immediately withdrawn.
(ii) For pre-viewing, scrutinizing and certifying advertisements to
be telecast over TV channels and cable networks by any registered
political party or by any group or organization / association, having
headquarters in NCT of Delhi, the Chief Electoral Officer, Delhi
shall constitute a Committee as directed in the Order. Similarly,
the Chief Electoral Officers of other States / Union Territories
will constitute Committees for dealing with applications by
political parties and other associations / groups with headquarters
in their States / Union Territories, as per provided in the Order.
Returning Officer of every Parliamentary Constituency has been
declared as Designated Officer for previewing, scrutinizing and

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“No voter to be left behind”

certifying advertisements by individual candidates contesting


election from the constituency concerned.
(iii) Further, the Chief Electoral Officers of all States / Union
Territories are also required to constitute further a Committee to
attend to complaints / grievances in regard to the decision of the
Committees of Designated Officers on the application for
certification of advertisements.
(iv) Each application for certification is to be submitted before the
Committee concerned or the Designated Officer concerned
in a statement as per the prescribed format. The certificate for
telecast for an advertisement is to be given by the Committee
/ Designated Officer in the prescribed format. The applicants
are required to submit two copies of the proposed advertisements
in electronic form alongwith an attested transcript thereof.
(v) A proper record in a register should be maintained for all
applications received for certification. Each application should
be serially numbered and the serial numbers should also be
indicated on the two copies in electronic form and the receiving
officer should affix his signature on the electronic copy. After
issue of certificate, one electronic copy of the advertisement as
certified for telecast, should be retained by the Committee /
Designated Officer.
(vi) All Chief Electoral Officers may take immediate action for
acquiring, by hiring or purchase, necessary equipments /
infrastructure, such as television. VCR, VCD, etc. that may
be required for the purpose of previewing and scrutinizing of
advertisements by the Committees and Designated Officer
in their State / Union Territory. Purchase of equipment, if
any, is to be made in accordance with the rates and procedures
approved by the State Governments for similar items.

6.4 Display of Advertisements and Hoardings At the Cost of Public


Exchequer
6.4.1. The Election Commission has directed that such hoardings,

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advertisements, etc., put up by the Government, which purport to


give general information or convey general messages to the masses on
family planning, social welfare schemes etc. may be allowed to be
displayed. However, all the hoardings, advertisements, etc. at the cost
of public exchequer, which seek or purport to project the achievements
of any living political functionary or political party and which carry his
photo or name or party symbol should be removed forthwith as no
political functionary or political party can use public resources and incur
or authorize expenditure from public exchequer to eulogise himself or
itself or enhance his/its own or any political leader’s personal image. Such
hoardings, etc. undoubtedly amount to their individual/party election
campaign at public cost.
6.4.2. The Election Commission has also directed that no advertisements
should be issued in the newspapers and other media, including
electronic media, at the cost of public exchequer during the election
period and misuse of mass media during election period for partisan
coverage of political news and publicity regarding achievements with
a view to furthering the prospects of the party in power, should be
scrupulously avoided.

6.5 Publication of Advertisements in Non Poll Going States


6.5.1 It has been observed that many times advertisements highlighting
welfare schemes and achievements of the Central Government and State
Governments are published by some non-poll going State Governments,
in the editions of newspapers having circulation in the States where
elections are going on. The Election Commission considers this to be a
violation of Model Code.
6.5.2 The Election Commission has directed that all such advertisements
issued by the State Governments of non-poll going States and proposed
to be published in the newspapers of poll going States, during the period
when Model Code is in effect, should be got cleared from the Election
Commission, before they are sent for publication in the newspapers
having editions or having circulation in the poll-bound States.
6.5.3 The Election Commission has noted that despite issue of the above

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instructions, advertisements are issued by some non-poll going States


in newspapers having editions or having circulation in the poll bound
states, without obtaining the Election Commission’s clearance. The
Election Commission has expressed its displeasure over such violations
of its instructions. The Election Commission has further advised that,
in future, if any such violation of its instructions is brought/come to its
notice, the Secretary/ Director of the Information and Public Relations
of the concerned Government shall be held directly responsible for such
lapse.

6.6 Publication of Advertisements in Connection with Special Occasions/


Days
6.6.1 The Election Commission has taken a clear stand that there will be no
objection to release of such advertisements in connection with special
occasions/days like World Habitat Day/ Pulse Polio/HIV Awareness
Campaigns and celebrations of various ‘Diwas’ like Independence Day/
Republic Day/ Gandhi Jayanti/ State Formation Days etc., provided they
do not contain photograph/political message/reference of any Minister/
political dignitary/political party. The said advertisements should not
highlight achievements of the party in power, which may influence the
voters and induce them to vote in their favour.
6.6.2 It is observed that various important historical days like Independence
Day, Republic Day, Gandhi Jayanti, Shivaji Jayanti or State Formation
Days falling during election period are celebrated with much fanfare and
attended to by Central/State Ministers who, at time, make it a platform
for gaining political advantage by highlighting the achievements of the
party in power or their political functionaries contesting the elections.
The Election Commission has taken a serious note of this and decided
that while Ministers can participate in such celebrations, the theme of
their speeches should be confined only to the historical background,
deeds and achievements of the historical figures and they must take
utmost care not to make any political speech converting the forum into
a platform for political campaign.
6.6.3 For similar reasons, there will be a complete ban on celebrations like “xxx
years/days in power” during this period as such occasions are virtually

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utilized to highlight the achievement of the party in power.

6.7 Continuation of Aadhaar Related Publicity in Various States


It has been clarified that only those Aadhaar related publicity can be done during
election period, which has objective to give information about Aadhaar Card to
the general masses. Any publicity highlighting achievements of the scheme or
the Authority or Government will not be allowed to be made.

**********

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CHAPTER 7
TOURS/VISITS OF MINISTERS/OTHER
DIGNITARIES

Main topics discussed in the 7.1 Introduction


Chapter:- 7.1.1 During elections, ministers may be
• Consolidated Instructions undertaking tours to the state where Model Code
is in force. In order to ensure level playing field, the
 Official visit not to be Election Commission placed certain curbs on the
combined with political/ tours of ministers. The Election Commission issued
private visit certain directives on 31 December 1993 to the
 Restriction on use of effect that the ministers, chairman and directors of
official vehicles government bodies visiting a district or constituency
after the announcement of election therefrom should
 No protocol by
not be provided with official transport or declared as
Government officials
state guests and that they should not convene any
 Meeting with govt. meetings of officers at district level, nor should they
officials use any government vehicles or take with them their
personal staff on such tours. The only exception to
 Video Conferencing with
those directives was the Prime Minister of India,
Government officials
who stands on a different footing in view of the
 Personal staff with government’s instructions on security arrangements
Ministers, while on tour for him.
 Accommodation in 7.1.2 On the eve of general elections to the House
Government guest houses of the People and certain legislative assemblies in
• Briefing of Chief Minister/ 1996, the Election Commission, by its order made
Home Minister by Police on 17 January 1996, almost banned all official tours
Officers of ministers of the Union and State Governments
from the time of announcement of elections to their
completion. The Election Commission also put
restriction on the officials involved in elections being made to attend
on the visiting ministers in the name of security and administrative
arrangements. The Ministers were allowed to use official vehicles in their

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“No voter to be left behind”

headquarters from their residences to their offices and that was only
for official work. Though resented, these instruction were rarely defied
openly.
7.1.3 During 1999 general elections, on the Central Government’s request for
relaxation, the Election Commission revised its earlier instructions.

7.2 Consolidated Instructions


7.2.1 The Election Commission’s instructions (Annexure XI) on various
aspects of tours undertaken by Ministers during elections issued from
time to time have been consolidated for the sake of convenience in the
following paragraphs :-
(i) No minister of State Government shall undertake an official visit
to any constituency for which elections have been announced by
the Election Commission, during the period commencing with
announcement of the elections upto end of the election process.
(ii) If a Minister of the Union is travelling from his/her headquarters
to a poll bound state/district on purely official business, which
cannot be avoided in public interest, then a letter certifying to this
effect should be sent from the Secretary of the department/ministry
concerned of the Government of India, to the Chief Secretary of
the state which the Minister intends to visit, with a copy to the
Election Commission. On receipt of such information from the
Secretary that the Union Minister is proposing a purely official
visit and no political activity of any kind is envisaged during such
tour, the Chief Secretary may provide the Union Minister with a
Government vehicle and accommodation and extend other usual
courtesies for his official trip. While doing so, the Chief Electoral
Officer of the State, who is entrusted with the task of monitoring
of electoral activity in the State, including the implementation of
Model Code, shall be alerted in advance by the Chief Secretary.
The Election Commission will keep watch on such arrangements
in consultation with the Chief Electoral Officer. The Union
Ministers are expected to avoid making official visits to their
home States, and particularly to the constituencies from where

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they are contesting elections though it is open for them to make


private visits.
(iii) Official visit not to be combined with political/private
visit:- The Minister shall not combine his official visit with
electioneering work and shall not make use of official machinery
or personnel during the campaigning. In this connection, a
reference was received in 2004 from Union Government seeking
clarification whether the Minister for Railways while in Patna
for political campaign can come officially from Patna to New
Delhi for attending the meetings relating to railway budget or
cabinet meetings. The ministry also sought a clarification on
the issue whether the Railway Minister while on a personal/
political visit to Patna can proceed to Kolkata on official visit.
It was clarified that the Minister cannot combine his political or
personal visit with official visit to Kolkata or elsewhere even if
he pays the money for entire trip. It was also informed that the
Minister could avail of normal privileges of free railway / air pass as
available to Members of Parliament, but he was not entitled to take
benefit of privileges as Union Minister for Railways for train/air
journeys for going to Patna and returning to headquarters at Delhi.
Before that, during general elections to State Assembly of Madhya
Pradesh, the then Chief Minister of Punjab used state aircraft for a
visit from Chandigarh to Indore for an official purpose. From there,
he proceeded to Bhopal on election visit. He was made to pay for
the entire journey from Chandigarh to Bhopal and back. Similarly,
in 2003 general election to Legislative Assembly of Chhattisgarh,
the then Chief Minister of the state had to reimburse to the state
government the expenses for air journey which he performed by
using state government aircraft from Raipur to Delhi for party
work. However, during 2015 election, an exception was made in
case of the Prime Minister, when he was permitted to combine
his official tours with his private election campaign visits, with the
directions that the expenditure on travel of the Prime Minister on
non-official visits was to be borne by the political party concerned.
(iv) Restriction on use of official vehicles:- It is clarified that

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“No voter to be left behind”

the Ministers are entitled to use their official vehicles in their


headquarters from their place of residence to their office for
official work provided that such commuting is not combined with
any electioneering or any political activity which would include
a visit to party office even if it were enroute. No pilot car(s) or
car(s) with beacon lights of any colour or car(s) affixed with
sirens of any kind making his presence conspicuous shall be used
by any Minister during his/her electioneering visits, even if the
State administration has granted him a security cover requiring
presence of armed personnel to accompany him on such visit.
An instance was brought to notice of the Election Commission
that Union Minister for Railways and Union Minister for
Company Affairs used staff car to visit the Election Commission’s
office with election work. Both the ministers were issued notice.
Consequently, the ministers paid the government for use of such
car for their private visit. Similarly, a reference was received in
2012 from the Chief Electoral Officer, Punjab that the then Chief
Minister of Punjab was campaigning in Rama Mandi from where
he would like to travel to Ferozpur for hoisting the National
Flag on 26 January. The Principal Secretary to Chief Minister
requested that the expenditure on the vehicle to be used by Chief
Minister from Rama Mandi to Ferozpur and back would be borne
by the State Government. The Election Commission decided that
the dignitaries who would be hoisting National Flag at Republic
Day functions may travel directly to that place from the place of
election campaign, if any. The travel expenditure for this purpose
would be borne by the State Government concerned. They do not
need to travel between these places via headquarters.
(v) No protocol by Government officials:- Officers of state
governments and district administrations shall not receive, see off
or call upon, by way of protocol, on the ministers at the Centre
or of the states when they visit any state or district on election
tour. However, an exception has been made in the case of election
tours of the Prime Minister and police officers of all ranks,
including director general of police, and district collectors have
been permitted to remain present for attending to security related
arrangements.
(vi) Meeting with Government officials:- Minister will not summon
any election related officer of the constituency or the State in
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“No voter to be left behind”

which any elections have been announced, to a place or office


or guest house inside or outside the said constituency for any
official discussions during the period of elections commencing
with the announcement of the elections from such constituency
and ending with the completion of election process. The only
exception to these instructions will be when a Minister, in his
capacity as in charge of the department concerned, or a Chief
Minister undertakes an official visit to a constituency, or summons
any election related officers of the constituency to a place outside
the constituency, in connection with failure of law and order or
occurrence of a natural calamity or any such emergency which
requires personal presence of such Ministers/Chief Ministers for
the specific purpose of supervision review/salvage/relief and other
similar purposes.
(vii) Video Conferencing with Government officials:- Video
conferencing by the Chief Ministers of states with their district
officials is prohibited during the period when Model Code is in
operation. Any official who meets the Minister on his private visit
to the constituency where elections are being held shall be guilty
of misconduct under the relevant service rules; and if he happens
to be an official mentioned in Section 129 (1) of the Representation
of the People Act, 1951, he shall be additionally considered to have
violated the statutory provisions of that Section and liable to
penal action provided there-under.
(viii) Personal staff with Prime Minister/Ministers, while on private
tours/campaigning:- Earlier, the Chief Ministers or other
Ministers were not allowed to accompany personal staff with
them during their private tours during the period of Model
Code. On reconsideration, the Election Commission decided
that during Model Code period, one non-gazetted member of
personal staff of the Chief Ministers of States/Union Territories
and Union Ministers may be allowed to accompany them on
personal/private tour. However, such personal staff shall not take
part in any political activity or assist the Chief Minister in his
political work. The restriction regarding personal staff members
who can accompany on personal/private tours shall not apply to
the Prime Minister. Similarly, during 2018 general election to the
legislative assemblies of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram,
Rajasthan and Telangana on request from the Principal Secretary
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“No voter to be left behind”

to Prime Minister, the Commission on grounds of security


concerns permitted deployment of official staff of Doordarshan
for operation and transportation of teleprompter equipment to
assist the Prime Minister in delivery of election speeches, during
that and subsequent election campaigns subject to the condition
that the said services by the Doordarshan should be made
available on the terms and conditions stipulated by the Ministry
of Information & Broadcasting for providing such services.
(ix) Accommodation in Government guest houses:- The Ministers
shall not be accommodated in guest houses or rest houses of the
government or of public sector undertakings, while on election
tours, as these guest houses may be required for accommodating
the Election Commission’s observers and other election related
officers. Same restrictions will apply in case of Members of
Parliament and State Legislatures or other political functionaries.
However, ministers and other political functionaries who
have been provided security cover of ‘Z’ or ‘Z plus’ category
by government or of equivalent level under any law shall be
exempted from above restrictions and they can be accommodated
in the government guest houses, if their security considerations
so warrant. The ministers on official tours which are unavoidable
may also be provided accommodation in the government houses,
subject to the condition that they will return to their headquarters
immediately after completion of their work and will not indulge
in any activity which may violate the Model Code provisions.

7.3 Briefing of Chief Minister/Home Minister by Police Officers


The Election Commission has issued instructions to the effect that security
briefings of Chief Minister or the Home Ministers when considered essential
should be undertaken by Home Secretary or Chief Secretary, who in turn should
be briefed by the police agencies. The instructions further state that in case
where police agency’s/official’s presence is considered essential, Chief Secretary/
Home Secretary may require the police agency/official to be present in such
briefings.

**********

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CHAPTER 8
RESTRICTION ON ELECTIONEERING
DURING PERIOD OF 48 HOURS BEFORE
CLOSE OF POLL

Main topics discussed in the 8.1 Introduction


Chapter:- 8.1.1 In order to strengthen the law and order on the
• Restriction on Presence of day of poll and to ensure an atmosphere where the
Political Functionaries in a electors do not feel intimidated in any manner, the
Constituency During the Last Election Commission has directed that all ministers,
48 Hours members of Parliament and State Legislative and
other political functionaries who have been provided
 Measures to Check with security should leave the constituency as soon
 Exemption from as the campaign period ends, i.e. 48 hours before the
Restriction time fixed for the close of poll.

• Telecast of Election Matters 8.1.2 Section 126 of the Representation of the People
During the Last 48 Hours Act, 1951, prohibits holding of public meeting in
the period of 48 hours ending with the hour fixed
• Whether Broadcasting of for the close of poll, when election campaign comes
Election Related Matter over to an end. (Section 126 of the Representation of the
Radio Could be done during People Act, 1951 is reproduced below :-
Last 48 Hours
“Section - 126 Prohibition of public meetings during
• Advertisements in Print period of forty – eight hours ending with hour fixed
Media for conclusion of poll –
• Telecast of Feature Films (1) no person shall –
(Other Than Commercial
advt.) of the Actors Contesting (a) convene, hold or attend, join or address any public
Elections meeting or procession in connection with an election; or
(b) display to the public any election matter by means
of cinematograph, television or other similar apparatus.
(c) Propagate any election matter to the public by holding, or by

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“No voter to be left behind”

arranging the holding of, any musical concert or any theatrical


performance or any other entertainment or amusement with
a view to attracting the members of the public thereto, in any
polling area during the period of forty-eight hours ending with
the hour fixed for the conclusion of the poll for any election in
the polling area.
(2) Any person who contravenes the provisions of sub-section (1) shall be
punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two
years, or with fine, or with both.
(3) In this section, the expression “election matter” means any matter
intended or calculated to influence or affect the result of an election.”)

8.2 Restriction on Presence of Political Functionaries in a Constituency


During the Last 48 Hours
8.2.1 During the course of campaign in an election, the political parties
mobilize their supporters, including from outside the constituency of
poll, in order to bolster that campaign. In view of the fact that after
the closure of campaign period no campaign can take place within the
constituency, presence of political functionaries and party workers, who
have been brought from outside the constituency and who are not voters
of the constituency, should not remain present in the constituency as their
continued presence after end of campaign period may undermine the
atmosphere for free and fair poll. Hence, the Election Commission has
directed that the district election administration / police administration
shall ensure that all such functionaries leave the constituency immediately
after the campaign period is over.
8.2.2 Measures to Check:- The Election Commission has directed that in
order to ensure that the above instruction is carried out, the election
administration / police administration may take all necessary measures
which may include:
(i) Checking of kalyan mandapams / community halls etc., to find
out whether any outsiders have been accommodated in these
premises.
(ii) Verification of lodges and guesthouses to keep a track of the list of
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occupants.
(iii) Set up check-posts at the constituency borders and track the
vehicular movement from outside the constituency.
(iv) Verify identity of the people / group of people in order to find out
whether they are voters or not and to establish their identity.
8.2.3 Exemption from Restriction:- An instance came to notice of the
Election Commission during an bye-election in 2017 that a prominent
political leader didn’t leave the constituency after campaign period was
over, citing some medical reasons. The Election Commission, having
considered the matter issued following guidelines-
(i) The District Election Officer concerned, in consultation with
Chief Electoral Officer, would constitute a Medical Board for
health check-up of the political functionary seeking exemption.
The Medical Board shall, after medical examination of the patient
and his/her medical history, will give report whether condition
of the patient( political leader) is such that he can’t move or be
shifted under medical attendance out of the constituency in an
ambulance or vehicle.
(ii) The exemption would only be considered by the Election
Commission after consideration of report of the Medical Board
received through Chief Electoral Officer concerned.
(iii) Such political functionary to whom exemption has been granted
may be allowed to stay in the constituency subject to the condition
that this is in no manner be used for any political/election related
activities in any way. To ensure this, a video surveillance team
headed by a magistrate with suitable police personnel shall be
deployed at all the entrances of place of stay till completion of
poll. Expenditure incurred for such stay should be duly accounted
for in election expenditure accounts of the contesting candidate
for that constituency.

8.3 Telecast of Election Matters During the Last 48 Hours


8.3.1 Previously, Section 126 prohibited only the convening /holding or

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attending, joining or addressing any public meeting/procession in


connection with an election during the period of 48 hours ending with
the hour fixed for conclusion of poll for any election in the polling area
concerned. However, the scope, extent and dimension of the prohibition
contained in the Section were expanded with amendment in the said
Section in 1996 when vide Sub-section (1)(b), prohibition was made
applicable to display of any election matter by means of cinematograph,
television or other similar apparatus during the prohibited period of 48
hours.
8.3.2 But in the era of wide reach of electronic media in the country, it is
impossible to block any matter being covered on electronic media in a
specific area, state or constituency.
8.3.3 During the general election to House of People in 2014, some
complaints were made to News Broadcasting Standards Authority
(NBSA) against certain television channels that they had telecast live
the release of manifesto by Bharatiya Janata Party at New Delhi on 7
April 2014, when some constituencies in Assam and Tripura were going
to poll on the very day. It was contended that it amounted to violation
of provisions of Section 126 (1)(b) and Model Code and also guidelines
issued by NBSA. After detailed hearing of the complainants, NBSA held
that in the scenario of a multi- phased election, prohibition of display
to public of any election matter in operation in a constituency in State
‘X’ cannot obviously prevent the telecast of electioneering being carried
on in State ‘Y’, in respect of a candidate belonging to the very political
party whose candidate is also contesting in a constituency in State ‘X’.
The media would be entitled to broadcast the electioneering in regard
to a contesting candidate of a particular party in one state, irrespective
of the fact that transmission would be seen in other states. It was further
held that so long as the broadcast of the election related programme in
State ‘Y’ is not used for promoting or attacking any specific candidate
in State ‘X’, there can be no objection. What are prohibited are any
advertisements or sponsored programmes or any reports supporting or
criticizing a candidate with an intention to influence or effect the results
of an election. Covering a general event relating to a political party
which is relevant and of common interest across the country or across a

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state, which does not extol the public to support any candidate or which
does not criticize any candidate in the constituency going to polls, is not
a violation of any guidelines.

8.4 Whether Broadcasting of Election Related Matter over Radio Could


be done during Last 48 Hours
Clause (b) of sub-section(1) of Section 126 bans display of election material
through T.V. or similar apparatus. As for radio, the Election Commission clarified
that it would be treated as ‘other similar apparatus’ for this purpose and hence
broadcasting /propagating any election matter through radio would be covered
under clause (b) and would not be permissible during the period of 48 hours
mentioned in the said section.

8.5 Advertisements in Print Media


8.5.1 Unlike political advertisements in electronic media which are not
regulated by any statutory law but are governed by the directions of
the Supreme Court, the political advertisements in print media are
subject to certain restrictions imposed by law itself. As per Section 127A
of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, no person can print or
publish, or cause to be printed or published, any election pamphlet or
poster which does not bear on its face the names and addresses of the
printers and publisher thereof. Further, no person can print or cause
to be printed any election pamphlet or poster, unless the printer has
obtained a declaration, in duplicate, as to the identity of the publisher
thereof, signed by the publisher and attested by two persons to whom he
is personally known.
8.5.2 Furthermore, the printer is required to send one copy of the said
declaration together with four copies of the printed material and a
statement showing the number of copies printed and the printing
charges realized from the publisher, to the chief electoral officer of the
state, if such document has been printed in the capital of the state, or
to the district magistrate of the district in which it is printed, in any
other case. The above provisions apply in relation to the advertisements
published by the political parties and candidates in the newspapers as
well.

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8.5.3 Any person who prints or publishes or causes to be printed or published


any election pamphlet or poster in contravention of the above statutory
restrictions is punishable with imprisonment for a term extending up to
six months or with fine which may extent to two thousand rupees, or
with both.
8.5.4 As per the law, the content of any such election pamphlet or poster
is not required to be pre-certified from any authority, unlike the
advertisements in electronic media which require pre-certification by
the Media Certification and Monitoring Committees set up by the
Election Commission at the district and state levels under the directions
of the Supreme Court. However, the advertisements published by
the political parties and candidates in the e-version of newspapers
requires pre-certification. Further, the restrictions on the publication
of advertisements on electronic media during the period of 48 hours
ending with the hour fixed for the close of poll do not extend to the
publication of advertisements by political parties and candidates in print
media.
8.5.5 During the general election to the Bihar legislative assembly in 2015,
certain advertisements of offending nature were published in some
prominent newspaper in Bihar on the day previous to the date of poll.
To ensure that no such instance was repeated on the date of poll and no
untoward incident may take place because of any inflammatory or hate
advertisements, the Election Commission, in exercise of its powers under
Art 324 of the Constitution directed that no political party or candidate
or any other organization or person shall publish any advertisement
in the newspapers on the day of poll and one day prior to poll unless
the contents of the advertisement proposed to be published were got
pre-certified by them from the Media Certification and Monitoring
Committee (MCMC) at the district or state level, as the case may be.
Similar direction was also issued to all newspapers in the state of Bihar
that they should not publish any advertisement in the newspapers on the
day of poll and one day prior to poll which had not been pre-certified by
the said MCMC. The above direction of the Election Commission was
brought to the notice of all political parties in the state of Bihar and also
given wide publicity to all media of mass communication for general

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information and strict compliance.


8.5.6 From then onwards, at all subsequent general elections, the Election
Commission has been issuing similar directions with the modification
that the aforesaid pre-certification of advertisements in newspapers is
required in respect of all such advertisements as intended to be published
on poll day and one day prior to poll day.

8.6 Telecast of Feature Films (Other Than Commercial advt.) of the Actors
Contesting Elections
The question of whether to permit telecasting of films of the actors, who are
contesting election, on TV channels or not was brought to the attention of the
Commission. After due deliberations the Commission directed that telecast of
films and commercial advertisements involving film actors who are contesting
elections will not be restrained on TV channels or Cinema Theatres. However,
telecast of such feature films (other than commercial advertisements) will
not be allowed on Doordarshan during the period of enforcement of Model
Code of Conduct, considering that Doordarshan is run on public funds.
**********

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CHAPTER 9
DISPLAY OF PHOTO/MESSAGE ON
OFFICIAL WEBSITE/GOVT. BUILDINGS/
ADVERTISEMENTS

Main topics discussed in the 9.1 Introduction


Chapter:- The Election Commission has observed that
• Display of Photo/Message on official websites of Ministers and their offices/
Official Website organizations, which carry material on personal
achievements of the Ministers in their political/
• Display of Photo/Message in public life, continue to display the same during
Government Buildings election period. It amounts to violation of Model
• Display of Photo/Message on Code provisions. The Election Commission has
Govt. Advt./Hoardings issued directives to regulate this type of political
advertisements.
• Whether Names/Photos
can be Displayed on Mobile 9.2 Display of Photo/Message on Official
Objects Funded under MP/ Website
MLA LAD
9.2.1 The Election Commission has instructed
• Display of Photos on that partisan coverage of ministers highlighting and
Beneficiary Cards/Electric eulogizing their personal achievements on various
bills/Construction Site official websites of Govt. Departments and social
Plaques etc- media, in order to furthering the prospects of party
• Whether Images of National in power should be scrupulously avoided during the
Leaders/Poets/Prominent period Model Code is in force.
Personalities of the Past can 9.2.2 Similarly, all references of Ministers,
be Displayed politicians or political parties available on Central/
• Restriction on Use of State Government’s official website, shall be taken
Photographs of Defence off/purged of/covered/hidden/removed. The Chief
Personnel Electoral Officers shall take immediate action
to remove/hide photographs of any political
functionary from official websites of state department (Annexure- XII).

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During bye-elections, these instructions may be confined to only those


politicians/ministers, etc. who themselves become candidates at such
bye- elections.
9.2.3 In 2017, the Election Commission received a complaint that images
of the Prime Minister and Minister of Housing & Urban Poverty
Allevation were being displayed on website of Pradhan Mantri Awas
Yojana, being completed in Uttar Pradesh. The Election Commission
having considered the issue held that depiction of photographs of the
Prime Minister and Ministers, as aforesaid, is in violation of Model
Code and hence asked to remove such photographs immediately from
the official website ‘pmaymis.gov.in’.

9.3 Display of Photo/Message in Government Buildings


The Election Commission has also instructed that during Model Code period
photographs of Prime Minister, Chief Ministers, ministers and other political
functionaries many of whom are still active in public life and may be contesting
elections should not be displayed in government buildings/premises as that
would have the effect of disturbing the level playing field vis-à-vis the political
functionaries of other parties and candidates.

9.4 Display of Photo/Message on Government Advertisements/Hoardings


The Election Commission has directed that “hoardings, advertisements, etc.,
put up by the Government which purport to give general information or convey
general messages to the masses on family planning, social welfare schemes etc.
may be allowed to be displayed. However, all those hoardings, advertisements,
etc. which seek or purport to project achievements of any living political
functionaries or political party and which carry their photos or name or party
symbol should be removed forthwith as no political functionary or political
party can use public resources and incur or authorize expenditure from public
exchequer to eulogize himself or itself or enhance his/its own or any other
political leader’s personal image. Such hoardings, etc. undoubtedly amount to
their individual/party election campaign at public cost.

9.5 Whether Names/Photographs can be Displayed on Mobile Objects


Funded under MP/MLA LAD

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The Election Commission has been receiving complaints that names of MPs/
MLAs painted on mobile objects like water tanks, ambulances etc. funded under
MPLAD/MLALAD schemes are moving on various places in election going
States. The Election Commission has considered the matter and directed that
the names of MPs/MLAs etc. appearing on such moving vehicles etc. should be
covered suitably during the election period as such vehicles moving from one
place to another may be considered as a form of election campaign in favour of
the MP/MLA etc. concerned.

9.6 Display of Photos on Beneficiary Cards/Electric Bills/Construction


Site Plaques etc-
9.6.1 The Election Commission has issued clarification in the matter as
follows:-
(i) Beneficiary cards distributed to beneficiaries, construction site
plaques etc. erected during the enforcement of Model Code shall
not contain photographs/messages of Chief Ministers, Ministers
and other political functionaries. However, no interference is called
for in respect of photos of political functionaries on beneficiary
cards, construction site plaques etc. that are distributed/erected
prior to the announcement of election.
(ii) Similarly, electricity bills, water bills etc. to be generated after the
enforcement of Model Code should not contain any photographs
or messages/symbols of political functionaries/parties.
9.6.2 During 2017 general election to Goa State Assembly, the Election
Commission received a complaint that hoardings with photographs
of Prime Minister were displayed at petrol-pumps. The Election
Commission issued necessary direction to remove the photographs.
Likewise, on the basis of a news item appeared in print media, the
Election Commission ordered to stop distribution of certificates
displaying photograph of Prime Minister by oil companies to LPG gas
consumers who had surrendered gas subsidy, in Uttarakhand during
2017 general election to the State Assembly.

9.7 Whether Images of National Leaders/Poets/Prominent Personalities


of the Past can be Displayed
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The Election Commission has clarified that while photographs of Prime Minister,
Chief Ministers, Ministers and other political functionaries should not be
displayed, this instruction, however, is not applicable with regard to the images
of national leaders, poets, and prominent historical personalities of the past, or
images of the President of India and the Governors and these may continue to
be so displayed. A reference was received from DAVP in 2013– whether on the
occasion of the death anniversary of former Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi
and the birth anniversary of Sardar Valabhbhai Patel, their photograph and
messages could be published in the advertisements. The Election Commission
decided that there may be no objection to the publication of photographs and
message related to the departed political leaders except those leaders who have
passed away in the recent past.

9.8 Restriction on Use of Photographs of Defence Personnel


9.8.1 Ministry of Defence brought to the notice of the Election Commission
that photographs of Defence personnel were being used by some political
parties, their leaders and candidates in advertisements as part of their
election propaganda and requested the Election Commission to issue
suitable instruction in this regard.
9.8.2 The Election Commission maintained that photographs of Chief of
Army Staff or any other Defence personnel or photographs of functions
of Defence forces should not be associated with or used in advertisement/
propaganda/campaigning or in any other manner in connection with
elections by political parties and candidates. The Election Commission,
accordingly, called upon all the political parties to advise their candidates/
leaders to desist from displaying photographs of Defence personnel or
functions involving them in advertisements, or otherwise, as part of
their election propaganda/campaigning.

**********

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“No voter to be left behind”

CHAPTER 10
USE/REQUISITION OF VEHICLES

Main topics discussed in the 10.1 Introduction


Chapter :- Vehicles are most essential means of
• Legal Provision on Requisition of communication during elections and
Vehicles therefore, these are in great demand, not only
• Exemption from Requisition of by political parties and candidates but also
Vehicles by the election machinery and authorities
• Compensation for Requisitioned for performance of their official duties and
Vehicles conveyance of polling parties, polling material
and security personnel.
• Consolidated Instructions
 Ban on use of Official Vehicles 10.2 Legal Provision on Requisition of
 Restriction on convoy of vehicles Vehicles
 Use of vehicles During filing of Section 160(1) of the Representation of
nominations the People Act, 1951 authorizes the state
 Use of vehicles for electioneering governments to requisition any vehicle, vessel
purposes or animal, if it is needed or is likely to be
 Use of vehicles on poll day needed for any election purpose.
 Video-Vans 10.3 Exemption from Requisition of
 Use of Bikes for Campaigning Vehicles:-
 Regulation of Road Shows Vehicles being used by the following
During Elections categories are exempted from requisition-
 Use of Road Transport by Star
Campaigners (i) Vehicles being lawfully used by a
candidate or his agent for any purpose
• Use of Official Vehicles by Speaker/
connected with the election.
Deputy Speaker or functionaries of
various boards/Commissions/PSUs (ii) Vehicles belonging to wild life
• Bullet Proof Vehicles Provided for sanctuaries, national sanctuaries and national
Security Reasons games parks.

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(iii) Likewise, the vehicles, as well as the staff of Bharat Sanchar Nigam
Limited have also been exempted.
(iv) The vehicles of All India Radio and Doordarshan have also been
exempted from requisition, as they too are involved in election-related
work during the election period.
(v) The Election Commission has also exempted the vehicles of World
Health Organization, UNICEF and other organs of UNO like its polio
projects, from being requisitioned for election duties.

10.4 Compensation for Requisitioned Vehicles


The government is liable to pay compensation for the vehicles, vessels or animals
for the period, they are so requisitioned. Compensation shall be paid to the
owner on the basis of the fares or rates prevailing in the locality concerned. If the
owner is aggrieved by the amount of the compensation, he may apply within 14
days from the date of determination of the amount of compensation to the state
government for referring the matter to an arbitrator.

10.5 Consolidated Instructions


10.5.1 The statutes do not specify any limit on the number of vehicles that
may be used by a political party or candidate. In absence of such legal
restriction, the Election Commission has been taking several measures
from time to time to put reasonable curb on the number of vehicles
being used by political parties and candidates during their election
campaigning. The Election Commission has issued a number of
instructions for sake of clarity and easy reference for all the stakeholders.
The said instructions have been consolidated and issued on 10 April,
2014. (Annexure XIII). The detailed instructions including subsequent
clarifications are as follows:-
10.5.1 Ban on use of Official Vehicles
(i) Subject to exceptions mentioned herein, there shall be a total
and absolute ban on the use of official vehicles by any political
party, candidate or any other person connected with election
(except officials performing any election related official duty)
for campaigning, electioneering or election related travel during
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election period starting with the announcement of election


schedule by the Election Commission and ending with the
completion of election process.
(Official vehicle’ will cover all vehicles belonging to the (a) Central
Government, (b) State Government/UT Administrations, (c) public
undertakings of the Central and State governments, (d) Joint Sector
Undertakings of Central and State Governments, (e) Local Bodies,
(f ) Municipal Corporations, (g) Municipalities, (h) Marketing
Boards (by whatever name known), (i) Cooperative Societies, (j)
Autonomous District Councils or any other body in which public
funds, howsoever small a portion of the total, are invested and also
include those belonging to the Ministry of Defence and the Central
Public Organizations under the Ministry of Home Affairs and State
Governments).
(ii) The District Administration shall keep a close watch to see
whether official vehicle belonging to any authority specified in
the preceding para is being used for electioneering purposes. In
case it is so, the District Magistrate shall, forthwith, requisition
or cause to be requisitioned such vehicles, under Section 160 of
the Representation of the People Act, 1951 after following due
procedure, for election work. Such requisitioned vehicles shall not
be released until after the completion of the process of elections.
[Clarifications: (a) It is clarified that the ban on use of vehicles will
equally apply to the vehicles in the state where election is being held
or from any other States, not going to the polls. The Chief Secretary of
each State/Union Territory/the Secretary to the Government of India
in the concerned Department, as the case may be, will be personally
held responsible for misuse of vehicles belonging to any Ministry/
Department/public sector/joint sector undertakings/autonomous
bodies/ attached offices under a Ministry/Department. The offices
under whose charge such vehicles are entrusted will also be equally
held responsible for any violation.
(b) It is further clarified that use of such vehicles belonging to
any of these authorities by anyone, including ministers of

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the Central of State Government, even on payment basis,


for campaigning or on tours connected with elections with
the alleged and bogusly certified purpose of official work
in their capacity as ministers, is totally prohibited.]
[Exception: (a) The only exception to the above prohibition will
be Prime Minister and other political personalities, who might, in
view of extremist and terrorist activities and threat to their lives,
require security of a high order and whose security requirements are
governed by statutory provisions made by the Parliament or the State
Legislature in this behalf.
(b) The above restriction shall also not apply in the case of the
President and Vice-President of India, Speaker and Deputy
Speaker of Lok Sabha and Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha
and such other dignitaries visiting the state from other states.
However, it is further clarified that in the case of Speaker
and Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha and Deputy Chairman of
Rajya Sabha these restrictions will be applicable at the time
of General Elections to the Lok Sabha as in respect of any
Ministers of the Union or any State Government.]
(iii) Information with regard to assessment of the security requirements
made in respect of any such personality, shall be furnished to the
Election Commission by the Central Government or the State
Government concerned.
(iv) If the Election Commission has any material to doubt that
the assessment of security requirements made by authorities
under Special Protection Group Act, 1988 or any other special
enactment/instruction of the Government have been manifestly
or unduly excessive with the intention of promoting indirectly the
electoral interests of a particular party or candidate, the concerned
Government shall be asked to take immediate and appropriate
corrective steps.
(v) If security requirement of a person, as assessed by security
agencies, requires him to travel in bullet proof vehicle, only one
such vehicle may be provided by the government on payment
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“No voter to be left behind”

of cost of propulsion of such vehicle by such person. In such


bullet proof vehicle, no other political leader/worker (except his
personal/medical attendant) shall be allowed to travel.
10.5.2 Restriction on convoy of vehicles: (i) Vehicles shall, under no
circumstances, be allowed to move in convoys of more than ten vehicles,
excluding the security vehicles. The convoys, including those carrying
a minister of Central or State government., exceeding ten vehicles shall
be broken up and a gap of 100 mtrs would be maintained. This shall,
however, be subject to security instructions issued by the competent
authority in respect of such individual.
(ii) It shall be the duty of the local administration to ensure that
vehicles in a convoy are not allowed to flout the Election
Commission’s direction, till the process of election is completed.
10.5.3 Use of vehicles During filing of nominations: The maximum number
of vehicles allowed within the periphery of 100 metres of Returning
Officers’/Assistant Returning Officers’ office on behalf of a candidate
visiting the said office to file his nomination paper in a procession/
convoy of vehicles, shall be three. Periphery of 100 metres should
clearly be demarcated by Returning Officers/District Election Officer.
Only one door of the office shall be kept open for entry of candidate +4
other authorized persons and all other doors should be closed. A CCTV
camera should also be placed at the entry door to record actual time of
entry.
10.5.4 Use of vehicles for electioneering purposes: (i) There is no limit on
vehicles, which a candidate may use for electioneering purposes. But
before the campaigning commences, the candidate shall have to furnish
the details of all such vehicles and the areas in which he intends to use
them for campaign purposes, to the District Election Officer or such
other Officer(s) as may be specifically authorized by the District Election
Officer. The officer, after necessary scrutiny, would issue permit to the
candidate in respect of each such vehicle. Permit must contain the details
like number of the vehicle, date of issue of permit, name of candidate
and the area (where it shall be used for campaigning). The original copy
(not the photo copy) of permit, in such dimension that it can easily

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be seen from a distance, should be displayed on the wind screen of the


vehicle.
(ii) Deployment of additional vehicles can only be done after due
notice by the candidate or his/her agent to the authorities and
obtaining permits for the same.
(iii) Details of the vehicles to be deployed by the candidate should be
conveyed by District Election Officer to the Election Expenditure
Observer(s) to enable them to check whether the expenditure on
vehicles is correctly included in the election expenditure account
of the candidate.
(iv) If a vehicle for which permission is given to a particular candidate
is found being used for another candidate, then the permission
shall be withdrawn and such vehicle seized by/under the authority
of District Election Officer.
(v) If a candidate, after obtaining permission, does not intend to use
the campaign vehicle(s), for any period of more than two days,
he/she shall intimate to the District Election Officer, to withdraw
the permission for such vehicle(s). If the candidate fails to do so,
it will be presumed that the candidate has used the permitted
vehicles for campaign purpose and accordingly, the expenditure
as per the notified rates on use of such vehicles shall be added to
his/her account of election expenses.
(vi) Any vehicle used for campaigning without due authorization/
permit, shall be deemed to be unauthorisedly campaigning for
the candidate and may attract penal provisions of Chapter IX A
of the Indian Penal Code. It shall immediately be taken out of
the campaigning exercise.[Chapter IX A of IPC- pertains to offences
relating to Election and provision for punishment therefor].
(vii) The vehicles deployed for election campaign by the candidates
should not be requisitioned by the administration.
(viii) For availing benefit of clause (a) of explanation (1) given under
Sec. 77 (1) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 by
the leaders of the political parties, i.e., star campaigners, the

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permission for the mode of road transport will be issued centrally


by the Chief Electoral Officer, irrespective of the fact whether
the same vehicle is to be used throughout the State or different
vehicles are to be used by such party leaders in different areas.
The permit will be issued against the name of the star campaigner
and it need to be displayed prominently on the windscreen of the
vehicle. The permits so issued by the Chief Electoral Officer will
be of distinctly different colour from those issued by the District
Election Officer for other campaign vehicles of candidates.
(ix) On a request from a recognized political party, the District
Election Officer would issue permit for one vehicle to be used
by the district level office bearer of the party (other than the star
campaigner) for his electioneering in multiple ACs within the
district. The permit should bear details like number of the vehicle,
the name of political leader and the period for which the permit
is issued. It should be of different colour so that it can easily
be identified. An attested copy shall be pasted on wind screen
and original be kept with the driver for checking by police or
other authorities. The expenditure in this regard shall be booked
against the political party and not the candidates. If such vehicles
are used for election campaign of any particular/candidates then
the expenditure should be added to the account of candidate(s)
appropriately.
(x) The Chief Electoral Officer may issue permits for vehicles
that can move throughout the State for use of office bearers of
recognized political parties for electioneering purposes only. For
the States having more than 100 Assembly Constituencies, the
Chief Electoral Officer may issue permits for a maximum of five
vehicles and for remaining States/UTs, for a maximum of three
vehicles to a recognized political party. The expenditure on these
vehicles shall be incurred by the political party and not by the
candidate. If such vehicles are used for election campaign of any
particular/candidates then the expenditure should be added to the
account of candidate(s) appropriately.
(xi) Use of vehicles for transporting publicity material - If a request
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is received from a recognized (National/State) political party for


grant of permission for vehicle(s) for the purpose of distribution of
publicity material to their various party offices across the State, the
Chief Electoral Officer may grant such permission for one vehicle
per party for every 25 (Twenty five) Assembly Constituencies. The
applicant political party will make the application specifying the
details of the vehicle, fitness certificate, name of the driver, date-
wise movement plan of the vehicle. The Chief Electoral Officer
shall ensure that such vehicles are also be subjected to normal
checks and the same will not be used for election campaigning.
The expenditure on account of such vehicles shall be incurred by
the political party and not by the candidate.
(xii) As per definition given in Section 160(4) (b) of the Representation
of the People Act, 1951, a cycle rickshaw is also a vehicle. If
a candidate is using a cycle rickshaw in election campaign, he
has to account for its expenditure in his account of election
expense, giving details of all such rickshaws being used by him.
If the rickshaw does not have any municipal registration/permit
for its identification, a permit may be issued in name of the
rickshaw driver, which he should carry on his person while using
that rickshaw for campaign purposes. Rickshaws being used for
carrying passengers in ordinary course etc. may be exempted,
from the above condition if they are displaying only one poster
showing the name or party symbol of a candidate, presuming that
they are doing so on their own free will.
(xiii) With a view to check possible misuse of private vehicles by the
candidates/party leaders/party workers for carting anti-social
elements or to smuggle illicit arms and ammunition etc., with
a view to create disturbances during elections, the District
Administration shall keep a close watch on the vehicles being used
by them. If a vehicle is found to be involved in any such mischief
or illegal activity, the local administration shall impound the said
vehicle and not release it till the completion of elections. Besides,
suitable action shall be taken against the owner using it and the
occupant(s) of the vehicle and the candidate/political party using
it.

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[As for flag/banner/sticker/light on campaign vehicle, please refer to para 13.3


of CHAPTER -13 USE OF NATIONAL FLAG/PARTY FLAGS/PARTY
BANNERS]
10.5.5 Use of vehicles on poll day
(i) Section 123(5) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951
provides that the hiring or procuring or use of vehicles by a
candidate/his agent or by any other person with the consent of
the candidate or his election agent for the free conveyance of
the voters to and fro from the polling station shall be a ‘corrupt
practice’. It is also an electoral offence, punishable under Section
133, with a fine, which may extend to five hundred rupees.
(ii) With a view to placing effective curbs on this corrupt practice, the
Election Commission has issued the following directions:
(A) For an election to the House of the People, each contesting
candidate, on the day of poll, will be entitled to:
(a) One vehicle for his own use in respect of the entire
constituency;
(b) In addition, one vehicle for use of his election agent
in the Parliamentary Constituency;
(c) In addition, one vehicle for use of his election agent
or workers or party worker, as the case may be, in
each of the assembly segments comprised in the
Parliamentary Constituency,
(B) For an election to the State Legislative Assembly, on the
date of poll in that Constituency each contesting candidate
is entitled to:
(a) One vehicle for his own use;
(b) One vehicle for the use of his election agent;
(c) In addition, one vehicle for use of his workers or
party workers.
[Clarification: It is clarified that, henceforth, the candidate
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or his agent or party workers or workers will be allowed to


use only four/three/two wheeler vehicles i.e cars (of all types)
taxies, auto rickshaws, rickshaws and two wheelers. In a four
wheeler vehicle not more than 5 persons, including driver, will
be allowed to move on the day of poll. It is further clarified that
on the day of poll the vehicle allotted for use of candidate or his
election agent will not be used by any other person. However,
the candidate or his election agent may accompany other
persons, subject to a limit of total 5persons, including driver].
(C) As mentioned in para 10.5.4 above, the permits for the
vehicles being used by the candidates will be issued by the
District Magistrate/Returning Officer. They shall display
the permits issued on the wind-screen of the vehicles. No
other vehicles shall be allowed to be used by the leaders
(including ministers) of the political parties. No exception
shall be made, irrespective of the status of the candidate.
(D) The restriction shall apply to all vehicles propelled by
mechanical power or otherwise, including but not restricted
to taxies, private cars, trucks, tractors with or without
trailers, auto-rickshaws, e-rickshaws, scooters, mini buses,
station wagons etc., for a period of 24 hours before the
time fixed for closure of poll and till the completion of poll.
(E) Penal action shall be taken under provisions of the
Representation of the People Act, 1951 and Chapter IX A
of the Indian Penal Code, in addition to the Motor Vehicles
Act against the persons violating the above directions. Any
vehicle being used in violation of these directions shall be
confiscated.
(F) The Election Commission does not intend to put a
complete ban on vehicular traffic on the polling day and
thereby create difficulties or cause harassment to the public.
For genuine bonafide use for purposes other than election,
the following types of vehicles shall be allowed to be plied
on the day of poll and there will be no exception:

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(a) Private vehicles being used by the owners, for their


private use, not connected with elections;
(b) Private vehicles being used by owners, either for
themselves or for members of their own family for
going to the polling booth to exercise their franchise,
but not going anywhere within a radius of 200
meters of a polling station;
(c) Vehicles used for essential services, namely, hospital
vans, ambulance, milk vans, water tankers, electricity,
emergency duty vans, police on duty, officers on
election duty;
(d) Public transport carriages like buses plying between
fixed terminals on fixed routes;
(e) Taxis, three wheeler scooters, rickshaws etc. for going
to airports, railway station, interstate bus stands,
hospital, for journeys which cannot be avoided;
(f ) Private vehicles used by sick or disabled persons for
their own use;
(g) Vehicles being used by the Govt. officers on duty to
reach their duty point.
10.5.6 Video-Vans
(i) Before giving permission to use Video-Vans to a political party
for campaign across the State, Chief Electoral Officer shall ensure
that such use of vehicle is in accordance with the Motor Vehicle
Act. Attention in this context is invited to the judgments dated
23 June 2006 and 14 February 2007 of Allahabad High Court in
Writ Petition No. 3648 (MB) of 2006, which inter-alia, lay down
necessary guidelines for compliance by the State Governments
while dealing with vehicles plying on roads, till State Legislature/
Parliament legislates law to provide for some severe punishments
to the offenders. The District Election Officers shall ensure
that expenditure incurred on such vehicles is proportionately

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distributed amongst the expenditure of the contesting candidates


of the party in the areas/constituencies where the Vans/Vehicles
have been used.
(ii) It is further clarified that-
(a) the permission to use Video-Vans for campaign purpose
can be granted at Chief Electoral Officer level only.
Transport Nodal Officer must submit certificate to the
Chief Electoral Officer that the Video-Van is in conformity
with the Motor Vehicle Act.
(b) any party/candidate seeking permission to use Video-Vans
from Chief Electoral Officer should first obtain necessary
permission/no objection certificate from the Competent
Authority under the Motor Vehicle Act. This certificate is
required to ensure the conformity with the Motor Vehicle
Act/relevant provision of law and Court Orders, if any.
(c) the contents of material for election publicity on Video-
Van shall be pre-certified from Media Certification and
Monitoring Committees (MCMCs). A Video-Van of the
political party should be used only to propagate programmes
and policies of the party. Votes or support for any particular
candidate should not be solicited. If it is used for seeking
votes/support for a particular candidate/candidates then
expenditure of Video-Van shall be accounted for such
candidate/candidates appropriately. Expenditure Observers
shall closely monitor this.
(d) though there is no restriction on the number of Video-Van
which can be used in a campaign, but the expenditure for it
shall be duly included in the election expenditure account
of the political party concerned to be submitted to the
Election Commission after election, and also apportioned
appropriately among the candidates concerned as provided
in sub-para (c) above.
(e) route of Video-Van to be used for publicity/campaigning

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should be informed to local administration/District


Election Officer, in advance. In case of violation, the
permission for video van may be withdrawn, after due
notice, by Chief Electoral Officer.
10.5.7 Use of Bikes for Campaigning
(i) A question was raised whether restrictions on plying of vehicles as
contained in the Election Commission’s Order is also applicable
to two wheelers, like, motorcycles and scooters and if so, during
which period. It was clarified that in the interest of free and fair
elections, these instructions apply in respect of all two wheelers,
like, motorcycles and scooters (except bicycles) also, for a period
of 24 hours before the time fixed for closure of poll and till the
completion of poll. These restrictions would not, however, apply
to any Govt. servant on duty or to such two-wheeler which is
being used to transport a patient or old/infirm persons.
(ii) Bike is a two wheeler and its use shall also be restricted for
campaign purpose. Number of bikes may be restricted as per
provisions relating to convoy of ten vehicles (as provided in Para
10.5.2 above) under no circumstances, be allowed to move in
convoy of more than ten bikes, excluding the security vehicles.
The convoys exceeding ten bikes shall be broken up, irrespective
of the fact that they are carrying any Minister of Central or State
Government or any other person. This shall, however, be subject
to security instructions issued in respect of any such individual.
The local administration shall ensure that no person moves in a
convoy of vehicles exceeding the limits prescribed, in spite of the
convoy having been broken.
(iii) Use of bikes, other than those permitted for campaign purpose,
would be regulated under the prohibitory order, viz Sec 144
Criminal Procedure Code.
(iv) During the campaign period, only one flag (of maximum
dimension of 2 X 1 ft.) shall be permitted on one bike. Length of
pole/stick for carrying flag shall not be more than 3 ft.

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10.5.8 Regulation of Road Shows During Elections


The Election Commission, to avoid inconvenience to the general public/
commuters during road shows, issued the following instructions-
(i) Prior permission for road shows shall be taken from the Competent
Authority.
(ii) As far as possible, road shows, subject to court orders and local
laws, should be permitted only on holidays and during non-peak
hours, on routes other than those having big hospitals, trauma-
centers, blood banks and heavily crowded markets.
(iii) Number of vehicles and persons expected to join the road show
shall be intimated in advance.
(iv) The road show shall not cover more than half the road width to
ensure safety of general public and free movement of traffic on the
other half.
(v) Simultaneous plying of number of vehicles on road including
e-rickshaws to be limited to 10. In case it exceeds the limit of 10
vehicles then the convoy shall be broken after every 10 vehicles
and a gap of 100 mtrs maintained.
(vi) Safety of public and persons attending the road show shall be
ensured. Bursting of fire crackers and carrying of fire arms shall
NOT be permitted at all.
(vii) Loudspeakers can be used as per the Election Commission’s
existing instruction and subject to local laws and court orders, if
any.
(viii) Display of animals in road shows is totally banned. Children,
particularly school children in uniform, should not take part in
road shows.
(ix) The maximum size of banner to be carried with hand will be 6ft
X 4ft.
(x) Only one flag of the size 1 ft X 1/2 ft with the permission of
the Returning Officer concerned would be allowed on campaign

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vehicles in a road show.


(xi) No spot/focus/flashing/search lights and hooters shall be put on
any campaign vehicle.
10.5.9 Use of Road Transport by Star Campaigners
(i) If a political party uses road transport for availing benefit
under clause (a) of Explanation given under Sec. 77 (1) of the
Representation of the People Act, 1951, the permit will be issued
centrally by the Chief Electoral Officer, irrespective of whether
the same vehicle is to be used by a leader for election campaigning
throughout the State or different vehicles are to be used by such
party leader in different areas.
(ii) The permit will be issued against the name of the person
concerned who will display it prominently on the windscreen of
the vehicle being used by him/her. The permits so issued by the
Chief Electoral Officer will be of distinctly different colors from
those issued by the District Election Officers/Returning Officers
for candidates. If the vehicle so permitted is also occupied by any
other person (other than the leader referred to above), in that
case, the 50% expenditure of the same shall be booked in the
expenditure of concerned party candidate from that constituency.

10.6 Use of Official Vehicles by Speaker/Deputy Speaker of State Legislative


Assembly or Functionaries of Various Boards/Commissions/PSUs-
10.6.1 As mentioned in CHAPTER 7 ‘TOURS/VISITS OF MINISTERS/
OTHER DIGNATORIES’, the Election Commission has put restriction
on use of official vehicles by Ministers during election period. Increasing
amplitude of this instruction, the Election Commission has directed
that the restrictions on the use of official vehicles for campaigning,
electioneering or election related travel will be equally applicable in the
case of Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the State Legislative Assembly
at the time of General Election to any State Assembly irrespective of
fact whether the Speaker and/or the Deputy Speaker of the Legislative
Assembly is a contesting candidate or not at the election.
10.6.2 As mentioned in Exception (b) of Para 10.5.1(ii), of this chapter,
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the above restriction shall not apply in case of Speaker/Deputy Speaker


of Lok Sabha and Chairman (Vice President)/Deputy Chairman of
Rajya Sabha visiting the State from other States. However, at the time
of General Election to Lok Sabha, the restriction will be applicable in
case of Speaker/Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha and Deputy Chairman of
Rajya Sabha.
10.6.3 Similarly, during the period of Model Code, non-official functionaries
viz. Chairman/Deputy Chairman/President/Vice President/
Commissioners of various autonomous boards/organization/PSUs will
use official vehicles only for commuting between office and residence and
to attend official meetings within the headquarters itself. The District
Administration will keep strict vigil on the movement of such vehicles
and any vehicle found being misused is to be confiscated forthwith.

10.7 Bullet Proof Vehicles Provided for Security Reasons


10.7.1 In 1996, the Election Commission issued instructions providing that
a person covered by ‘Z’ + (Z plus) security would be allowed one state
owned bullet proof vehicle, where security agencies prescribed such use
during the Mode Code period. In that instruction, use of multiple cars
in name of stand-by was permitted, unless so specially prescribed by
security authorities. The cost of propulsion of such bullet proof vehicles
would be borne by that particular person whether he is in office or out,
and whether he is a candidate or not.
10.7.2 In 2007, the Election Commission modified the above instruction to
the extent that the cost of propulsion of the bullet proof vehicle, being
used by the particular person covered by Z+ security would be borne by
the Government and not by the person concerned.
10.7.3 The Election Commission, further reconsidering the above issue decided
in 2009 that while the political functionaries including SPG protectee
provided with bullet-proof vehicles on security consideration may
continue to use the bullet proof vehicle during the period of operation of
Model Code, the cost of propulsion of such vehicles was to be borne by
the person concerned when it was used for non-official purposes during
such period. If the person was a leader of political party in terms of

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Explanations 1 and 2 under Section 77(1) of the Representation of the


People Act, 1951, the expenditure on propulsion of the vehicle would be
borne by the political party concerned for any journey referred to in the
said Section-77(1). In no case, the expenditure would be borne by the
government in such cases.
10.7.4 In 2010, the Election Commission modified the instruction and directed
that if the use of spare multiple vehicles had been prescribed in the case of
an SPG Protectee by the security authorities due to security reasons, the
same would be allowed at Govt. cost (except the vehicle used by the SPG
Protectee). There should be no objection to the personal staff of the SPG
Protectee accompanying the said Protectee in the B.R. car as the cost of
propulsion of such bullet proof vehicle was to be paid by the Protectee or
his political party where SPG Protectee was a person covered by Section
77(1) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (i.e. leader of the
Political Party concerned who is called a star campaigner for the party).
In case any other political dignitary was to be allowed to accompany the
SPG Protectee, if the situation so warranted, then 50% of the cost of the
propulsion should be booked in the election expenditure of the party
candidate from the particular constituency concerned. It was further
clarified that if such companion was also a star campaigner under the
said Section 77(1) no such apportionment of expenditure should be
called for.
10.7.5 The Election Commission received a reference in 2011, seeking
clarification as to whether the political functionaries, who had been
provided with bullet proof vehicles on security considerations, if they
used such vehicle on payment basis for election campaign, could allow
other persons also to travel along with them. The Election Commission
decided that there would be no objection, if any other person, including
a political functionary or candidate, travels along with a Z+ category
political functionary, who has been provided with bullet proof vehicle
and for which payment is being made by him or his party. It was
further clarified that where the political functionary provided with bullet
proof car is a ‘Star Campaigner’ in terms of Explanation (2) to Section
77(1) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, the expenditure
on the use of bullet proof car would not be deemed to be expenditure

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incurred or authorized by any candidate. If such political functionary is,


however, not a Star campaigner, the expenditure on use of bullet proof
car would be included in the account(s) of the candidate(s) in relation to
whose election campaign such car is used.
**********

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CHAPTER 11
USE/REQUISITION OF HELICOPTERS/
AIRCRAFTS

Main topics discussed in the 11.1 Introduction


Chapter :- Political parties hire aircraft/helicopters for star
• Chartering of Aircrafts and campaigners or high dignitaries like Chief Ministers
Helicopters or Ministers for electioneering. In 1994, The
Election Commission issued minimum conditions
• Maintenance of Record of for procedure to be followed with chartering
Non-Scheduled Flights government/PSU owned aircrafts/helicopters to
• Maintenance of Proper Record make the same equitable for all political parties.
by District Administration
11.2 Chartering of Aircrafts and Helicopters
• Clarification Regarding Use
11.2.1 Subsequently, the Election Commission
of Private Fixed-Wing Aircraft
issued further instructions putting restriction on
and Helicopters for Polling/
use of aircraft owned by government/public sector
Counting
undertaking by political functionaries including
Chief Minister and Ministers. The only exception
was made for Prime Minister. Requests have been received for some
Chief Ministers for relaxation of these restrictions for various reasons
including those of security, but the Election Commission has not relaxed
the restriction. The Election Commission’s existing restrictions do not
however prohibit use of private aircraft by such political functionaries
including Chief Ministers. The Election Commission makes it clear that
such political functionaries including Chief Ministers may, if required,
hire private aircrafts and use them for their political campaign and other
election related activities. The expenses of use of such aircrafts can be
paid for by the concerned political parties and have to be accounted
for suitably in their accounts.

11.3 Maintenance of Record of Non-Scheduled Flights


It is important that full records of all such non-scheduled flights are maintained by

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the appropriate authorities as required under law and relevant rules. Details like
passenger manifests, exact times of departure and arrival of aircrafts at specified
places need to be maintained. Election Commission may seek information
on these details to verify complaints which are received from time to time.
Accordingly, the appropriate authorities of the Central and State Governments
shall be allotted to keep meticulous records of these details.

11.4 Maintenance of Proper Record by District Administration


During the period political parties using helicopters/aircraft, for election
campaign and other purposes they may be requested to intimate three days
in advance, regarding their itinerary and the details of persons who will travel
and the materials that will be carried in the helicopters/aircrafts. The District
Administration/District Election Officers should maintain a log book and enter
the details of the helicopters/aircrafts which landed and took off in/from the
districts and details of persons travelling in the said aircraft/helicopter, purpose
of the travelling and whether permission was taken for landing. The District
Election Officers shall send daily reports about arrival and departure of such
helicopters/aircrafts to the Chief Electoral Officer, with an endorsement to the
Election Commission.

11.5 Clarification Regarding Use of Private Fixed-Wing Aircraft and


Helicopters for Polling/Counting
11.5.1 A question was raised whether the leaders of political parties can be
permitted to supervise and monitor the process of polling and counting
by using private fixed-wing aircrafts and helicopters for movement from
constituency to constituency on the days of poll and counting. The
Election Commission considered the question. It has maintained that
the supervision and monitoring of the polling and counting process by
these leaders would amount to interference in the performance of the
functions of the Election Commission. Further, for the leaders categorized
under various security grading adequate security precautions will have
to be taken and security covers provided to them if they move from
constituency to constituency. On the days of polling and counting,
the police and other security personnel are fully engaged in providing
protection to voters, polling parties and polling materials in and
around polling stations and counting centres, and in patrolling duties
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in the constituencies for maintaining proper law and order and peaceful
atmosphere. Any disturbance or distraction in these arrangements to
provide security to the leaders of political parties on the move from
constituencies to constituencies may have serious impact on the conduct
of free and fair poll and smooth and peaceful elections. It would also
mean extra strain on the administrative machinery at the district and the
sub-divisional levels. Further, their movement, particularly on the days
of poll, might also be taken as campaign during the prohibited period
of 48 hours. Besides, use of private fixed-wing aircrafts and helicopters
by the leaders of political parties on the days of poll and counting
would add considerably to the already mounting election expenses.
It would be a retrograde step in the direction of reasonable curbs on
high expenditure on elections, apart from disturbing the level playing
field as the political parties with smaller resources would be placed at
disadvantageous position.
11.5.2 Having regard to all the above considerations, the Election
Commission decided that no leader of a political party shall use private
fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters for the purposes of supervising and
monitoring the polling and counting process on the days of poll and
counting.
11.5.3 The Election Commission also decided that the Director General of Civil
Aviation shall keep the above directions in view and shall not permit the
flights of private fixed-wing aircrafts and helicopters for movements of
leaders of political parties for the above purpose on the days of poll and
counting, except with the prior permission of the Election Commission in
the case of any emergencies.

**********

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CHAPTER 12
USE OF SCHOOL GROUNDS/PUBLIC
PROPERTIES

Main topics discussed in the 12.1 Introduction


Chapter:- For the purpose of holding public meetings in the
• Use of School/College course of their election campaigns, political parties
Premises/Grounds require big maidans, parks, play-grounds, etc. In
many cities and towns, political parties often face
• Restriction on Use of Public
scarcity of such grounds for their public meetings
Properties for Political
and they often approach the Election Commission
Advertisements
for use of school/college grounds for holding their
• Restriction on Use of Buses public meetings. Apart from making a provision in
Plying under State Transport the Model Code of Conduct itself in Part VII (ii)
Authority for Political that the parties in power shall not monopolize public
Advertisements places such as maidans for holding their election
meetings and for using as helipads for helicopters/
aircrafts, the Election Commission has issued clear instructions on the use of
play grounds of schools, colleges and other educational institutions and other
public properties, which the authorities concerned will have to keep in mind
while issuing necessary permission.

12.2 Use of School/College Premises/Grounds


12.2.1 The Election Commission has allowed use of school/college grounds for
political meetings provided that:
(i) academic calendar of school/college is not disturbed under any
circumstances.
(ii) the school/college management has no objection and prior
permission for such campaigning is obtained from them as well as
Sub Divisional Officer concerned.
(iii) such permission is granted on first-come-first served basis and no
political party is allowed to monopolize use of such grounds.

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(iv) there is no order/direction of any court prohibiting use of any


such premise/ground.
(v) the political parties/candidates/campaigners shall ensure that no
Model Code norms are violated.
(vi) any violation in allotment of school/college grounds for political
meetings will be viewed seriously by the Election Commission.
The accountability in this regard lies with the Sub Divisional
Officer.
12.2.2 The political party which has been permitted to use grounds for
campaigning purpose will be responsible to return the ground to school/
college authority concerned, without any damage or with the requisite
compensation for the damage caused, if any.

12.3 Restriction on Use of Public Properties for Political Advertisements


12.3.1 While prohibiting use of space in public places/public properties like
railway stations, government dispensaries/hospitals, post offices, bus
stands, airports, bridges, railways flyovers, roadways, government
buses, government/public buildings/premises, civil structures, electric/
telephone poles, municipal/local bodies buildings, etc. for political
advertisements, the Election Commission has directed that no wall
writing, pasting of posters/papers or defacement in any other form, or
erecting/displaying of cutouts, hoardings, banners, flags etc. shall be
permitted during election period as part of election campaign.
12.3.2 It is further directed that subject to relevant law or court order, if any,
the government departments (whether central or state) local authorities,
joint sector undertakings etc., municipalities, municipal corporations,
marketing boards etc., while entering into a contract for providing space
for publicity purpose with private advertising agencies, shall make a
provision in the contract that use of the assets for political advertisement
during the period Model Code will be subject to directions of the
Election Commission.
12.3.3 The above restriction shall also apply in case of building/premises owned
by PSUs and they shall be treated at par with government buildings for
that purpose.
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12.3.4 In case there is no specific provision in the bye-laws of PSUs or in their


agreements with the advertisement agencies (to whom they might have
let out space for advertisements) for prohibiting display of political
advertisement, PSUs may be instructed to add a para in their agreements
with commercial agencies/companies while providing space on lease
to the advertisement agency for placing commercial advertisements
that “No political advertisement shall be displayed/pasted at the space
provided on lease for commercial advertisement during the period of
Model Code of Conduct. If there is any political advertisement in the
provided space, the same shall be removed immediately on enforcement
of the Model Code of Conduct”.

12.4 Restriction on Use of Buses Plying under State Transport Authority


for Political Advertisements
12.4.1 State Road Transport Corporation buses and buses owned by Municipal
Corporation etc. and other government owned vehicles shall not be used
for display of political advertisement during the period when Model
Code is in force.
12.4.2 If local law expressly permits or provides for slogan writing, display of
posters, erecting of cut-out/hoardings etc. for political advertisements in
any public place on payment basis or otherwise, then it may be allowed,
strictly in accordance with the relevant provisions of law and subject to
court orders, if any, on this subject. The District Election Officer should
ensure that such space is equitably distributed and it is not dominated
by any particular party/candidate.

**********

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CHAPTER 13
USE OF NATIONAL FLAG/PARTY FLAGS/
PARTY BANNERS

Main topics discussed in the 13.1 Use of National Flag


Chapter:- 13.1.1 During election campaigning, political
• Use of National Flag parties/candidates sometimes use National Flag. A
petition was filed in the High Court of Allahabad
• Use of Party Flags/Banners seeking directive to the Central Government, State
by Party Workers at their Government of Uttar Pradesh and the Election
Residences Commission not to allow use of national flag in rallies
 Number of party flag to be of political parties. The High Court while disposing
displayed of the petition by its order dated 30 January, 2014
observed that there is no prohibition of proper use
• Number and Size of Banners/
of national flag by political parties in rallies and that
Flags to be Displayed on
it is the bounden duty of the authorities concerned
Vehicles
to ensure strict compliance and observation of the
• Campaign Related Items provisions of the Flag Code and the provisions of
Emblem and Names (Prevention of Improper use)
Act, 1950 and the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act 1971.
(Annexure XIV)
13.1.2 In a bye election in 2017, it was brought to notice of the Election
Commission that during campaign a dummy coffin of a departed
political leader wrapped in national flag was used for electoral gains.
The Election Commission considered it inappropriate. The Election
Commission directed that the authorities concerned were bound
to observe strictly and comply with the provisions of the Flag Code,
Emblem and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950 and the
Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971 for proper use of
national flag in rallies by political parties. On a reference from the Chief
Electoral Officer, Punjab sending a request from the Chief Minister of
Punjab who was campaigning in Rama Mandi to allow him to travel
to Ferozpur for hoisting the National Flag on 26 January, 2012. The

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Election Commission, while allowing, in this regard directed that the


Ministers should not hoist flags in their home districts nor in the districts
in which the constituencies from where they were contesting elections,
are located.

13.2 Use of Party Flags/Banners by Party Workers at their Residences


13.2.1 Subject to restrictions under any local law or any court orders in force,
the political parties, candidates, their agents, workers and supporters
may put up banners, buntings, flags, cut-outs, on their own property,
provided they do so on their own volition, voluntarily and without any
pressure from any party, organization or person, and provided further
that these do not cause any inconvenience in any manner to anyone else.
If such display of banners, flags etc. aims to solicit vote for any particular
candidate, then the provisions of Section 171H of the Indian Penal Code
would be attracted and necessary action should be taken under the said
provisions.
[Section 171H of the Indian Penal Code stipulates that whoever without the
general or special authority in writing of a candidate incurs or authorizes
expenses on account of the holding of any public meeting, or upon any
advertisement, circular or publication, or in any other way whatsoever for
the purpose of promoting or procuring the election of such candidate, shall be
punished with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees: Provided that
if any person having incurred any such expenses not exceeding the amount
of ten rupees without authority obtains within ten days from the date on
which such expenses were incurred the approval in writing of the candidate,
he shall be deemed to have incurred such expenses with the authority of the
candidate].
13.2.2 Number of party flag to be displayed: There should be only three
number of flags of a party/candidate to be used at party workers’/
supporters’ residence and at party offices. In case, some person wants
to display flags of more than one party or candidate, then it shall be
restricted to only one flag of each party/candidate. Display of flags would
be subject to local law and court orders, if any. However, the expenditure
shall be strictly accounted for as per existing directions of the Election
Commission.

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13.3 Number and Size of Banners/Flags to be Displayed on Vehicles


13.3.1 As for maximum number and size of party flag to be used by party
workers on vehicles, Election Commission has instructed as follows:
(i) Two wheelers- One flag of maximum size 1ft X ½ ft. may be
permitted on one two wheeler including bike. No banner shall be
allowed. 1 or 2 small stickers of appropriate size may be permitted
on each vehicle.
(ii) Three wheelers, four wheelers, e-rickshaws- One flag of maximum
size 1ft X ½ ft. No banner will be allowed. 1 or 2 small stickers of
appropriate size may be permitted on each vehicle.
(iii) As for a road show, only one flag of the size of 1 ft. X ½ ft. would
be allowed by the Returning Officer on a campaign vehicle.
(iv) Length of pole/stick for carrying flag shall not be more than 3
feet.
(v) It is clarified that if a party is having a pre-poll alliances/seat
sharing arrangement with another party then campaign vehicle
of a candidate/political party may display one flag each of such
parties.
(vi) During a road show, the maximum size of a banner to be carried
out with hand will be 6 ft. X 4 ft.
13.3.2 While using flags or stickers on any vehicle, due care shall be taken that
visibility of the driver (of concerned vehicle or any other vehicle on
road), and any passenger from front or rear view is not hampered in any
manner.
13.3.3 No spot/focus/flashing/search lights and hooters shall be put on any
campaign vehicle.
13.3.4 No person shall put any flag or banner or sticker of big size on any
vehicle except with prior permission of the Competent Authority, and
subject to the relevant provisions of law and court direction/orders, if
any.
13.3.5 Chief Electoral Officer shall ensure that all the local law, court’s
directions/orders and provisions of Motor Vehicle Act are uniformly
applied throughout the State.

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13.4 Campaign Related Items


Subject to accounting for the expenditure, the Election Commission has
permitted the following campaign related items:-
(i) In processions and rallies etc., flags, banners, cutouts etc. can be
carried subject to local laws and prohibitory orders in force;
(ii) In such procession, wearing of special accessories like cap, mask,
scarf etc. supplied by political party/candidate may be permitted.
However, supply of main apparels like saree, shirt, etc. by party/
candidate is not permitted.
**********

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CHAPTER 14
USE OF LOUDSPEAKERS

Main topics discussed in the 14.1 Introduction


Chapter:- 14.1.1 Loudspeaker is the most common and
 Duration of use of effective mode of election campaign in India because
loudspeakers during elections of its loud sound and mobility. With a loudspeaker
mounted on a vehicle, a political party/candidate can
 Permission to use loudspeakers reach to a large number of electorate simultaneously
a must in every nook and corner of a locality. But due to
 Restriction on use of its high decibel, loud speaker is a serious menace
loudspeakers during the last to environment. It disturbs to various sections of
48 hours society like sick/infirm/old age people/students or
house hold animals. To strike a balance between right
 Sound must be within of political parties to use loudspeakers as means of
permissible limit election campaign on one hand and right of general
public on the other hand, the Election Commission
issued some regulations on 13 January, 1994, which, inter alia, provided
for time for use of loudspeakers between 8 a.m. to 7 p.m with prior
permission from authorities during the period from announcement of
election to declaration of results.
14.1.2 At the time of some bye-elections in Tamil Nadu in May 1994, these
instructions were challenged by AIADMK before the Madras High
Court, which stayed the operation of the Election Commission’s order.
The Election Commission filed an appeal in the Supreme Court against
the High Court’s order. The Supreme Court set aside the High Court’s
order and while modifying the Election Commission’s order allowed use
of loudspeakers between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.

14.2 Consolidated Instructions


14.2.1 On 26 December 2000, the Election Commission issued fresh
consolidated instructions superseding all its earlier instructions on the
subject. These were modified vide letter dated 26.09.2005 (Annexure-

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XV). The instructions provide:


(i) Duration of use of loudspeakers during elections: A public
address system or loudspeaker or any sound amplifier, whether
fitted on vehicles of any kind whatsoever, or in static position,
used for public meeting for electioneering purposes, shall not be
used at night between 10.00 p.m. and 6.00 a.m.
(ii) Use of loudspeakers, whether for general propaganda or for public
meetings or procession, and whether fitted on moving vehicles or
otherwise, shall be restricted during the hours mentioned above
and not beyond.
(iii) Loudspeakers being used beyond the hours as prescribed above,
shall be confiscated along with all apparatus connected.
(iv) Permission to use loudspeakers a must: The political parties/
candidates/any other persons using loudspeakers on moving
vehicles, including but not restricted to trucks, tempos, cars,
taxis, vans, three wheeler scooters, cycle rickshaws, etc. shall
intimate registration identification number of those vehicles
to the authorities granting permission to use loudspeakers and
such registration identification numbers of the vehicles shall be
indicated on the permits granted by the authorities concerned.
(v) Any vehicle on which a loudspeaker is used without the said
written permit shall be confiscated forthwith along with the
loudspeaker and all the apparatus used.
(vi) All political parties, candidates and even other person using a
loudspeaker either on a moving vehicle or at a fixed place shall
intimate -
(a) the Returning Officer of the Constituency, and
(b) local Police authorities, in writing, the full details of
the permits obtained by them before using any of those
loudspeakers. In the case of mobile loudspeakers, the
registration identification numbers of the vehicles shall also
be registered by them with the Returning Officer and the

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local Police authorities.


(vii) It shall be the responsibility of the State Government authorities
granting permits for use of loudspeakers and the local Police
authorities to strictly enforce that no loudspeaker is used by
anyone in violation of the above directions,
14.2.2 Restriction on use of loudspeakers during the last 48 hours: No
loudspeakers fitted on vehicles of any kind or in any other manner
whatsoever shall be permitted to be used during the period of 48 hours
ending with the hour fixed for the conclusion of the poll in any polling
area. Even after the close of poll, proper law and order is required
to be maintained till completion of election after the declaration of
result. Use of loudspeakers is generally regarded as source of public
nuisance and can often give rise to tension in a politically surcharged
atmosphere. The District Administration should, therefore, consider
any application for permission to use loudspeakers after the aforesaid
prohibitory period of 48 hours, on merit of each application and keeping
in view the need to maintain proper law and order till the completion of
election.
14.2.3 Sound must be within permissible limit: The Election Commission has
further directed that it should be ensured by the concerned authorities
of state pollution control boards that decibels of the sound generated
by loud speakers/amplifiers doesn’t exceed the permissible limit as fixed
under relevant law/guidelines. The District Election Officers shall
monitor this by putting suitable mechanism, in place.

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CHAPTER 15
PRINTING OF PAMPHLETS/POSTERS

Main topics discussed in the 15.1 Introduction


Chapter:- 15.1.1 During elections, political parties or
• Surrogate Advertisements candidates or their supporters resort to publication
of political advertisements through print media or
• Action in case of election pamphlets/posters for distribution among
Advertisements with voters. Sometimes, these published materials do
Traceable Source not bear name and identity of the publisher. To
• Hoardings/Flex Boards within restrict publication of such political advertisements,
Meaning of ‘Poster’ the election law has made a provision in the
Representation of the People Act, 1951, in form of
Section 127A.
15.1.2 Section 127A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, states that-
(1) No person shall print or publish, or cause to be printed or
published, any election pamphlet or poster which does not bear
on its face the names and addresses of the printer and the publisher
thereof.
(2) No person shall print or cause to be printed any election pamphlet
or poster-
a) Unless a declaration as to the identity of the publisher
thereof, signed by him and attested by two persons to
whom he is personally known, is delivered by him to the
printer in duplicate, and
b) Unless, within a reasonable time after the printing of
the document, one copy of the declaration is sent by the
printer, together with one copy of the document;
(i) Where it is printed in the capital of the State, to the
Chief Electoral Officer
(ii) In any other case, to the direct magistrate of the

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district, in which it is printed.


(3) For the purposes of this section:-
(a) any process for multiplying copies of a document, other
than copying it by hand, shall be deemed to be printing
and the expression “printer” shall be construed accordingly;
and
(b) “election pamphlet or poster” means any printed pamphlet,
hand-bill or other document distributed for the purpose
of promoting or prejudicing the election of a candidate
or group of candidates or any placard or poster having
reference to an election, but does not include any hand bill,
placard or poster merely announcing the date, time, place
and other particulars of an election meeting or routine
instructions to election agents or workers.
(4) Any person who contravenes any of the provisions of sub-section
(1) or sub-section (2) shall be punishable with imprisonment for
a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may
extend to two thousand rupees, or with both”.

15.2 Surrogate Advertisements


It has been observed that surrogate advertisements appear in print media,
especially newspapers, for and against particular political parties and candidates
during election period. In many cases such advertisements are for the prospects
of election of a particular candidate. As per Section 77(1) of the Representation
of the People Act, 1951, expenditure involved in such advertisements in
connection with the election of any candidate has to be added to the account of
election expenses of the candidate, required to be maintained under that Section.
Further, Section 171H of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, prohibits incurring of
expenditure on, inter-alia, any advertisement, circular or publication, for the
purpose of promoting or procuring the election of a candidate, without authority
from the candidate. The surrogate advertisements defeat the purposes of the
aforesaid provisions of law.
15.3 In order to sub-serve the requirements of the provisions of law as mentioned above,
the Election Commission has directed that in the case of any advertisements/
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election matters for or against any political party or candidate in print media,
during the election period, the name and address of the publisher should be
given along with the matter/advertisement.

15.4 Action in case of Advertisements with Traceable Source


In case of advertisements, the source of which is traceable, the following action
may be taken:-
(i) if the advertisement is with the consent or knowledge of the candidate,
it will be treated to have been authorized by the candidate(s) concerned
and will be accounted for in the election expenses account of the
candidate(s);
(ii) if the advertisement is not with the authority from the candidate, then
action may be taken for prosecution of the publisher for violation of
Section 171H of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, (incurring expenditure
in advertisement without written authority from the candidate(s)
concerned).
(iii) if the identity of the publisher is not indicated in the advertisement,
then the newspaper concerned may be contacted and information may
be obtained, and appropriate action, as above may be considered.

15.5 Hoardings/Flex Boards within Meaning of ‘Poster’


The hoardings, flex boards, etc. containing any election related advertisement
have to be treated as coming within the meaning of ‘poster’ mentioned in Section
127A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. As such the requirement for
giving the name and address of the publisher should be followed in the case of
hoardings, flex boards, etc., including hoardings of photos of party leaders.

15.6 As regards the provisions of sub-section (2) of Section 127A, the Election Commission
has directed that before displaying hoardings, flex boards, etc., prior permission is
required to be obtained from the owner of the property. In case of such materials
whether in public place or in private premises, the party/candidate concerned has to
give information to the Returning Officer as per the prescribed format along with
two photographs of such hoardings/flex boards. (Annexure XVI)

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CHAPTER 16
DEFACEMENT OF PUBLIC/PRIVATE
PROPERTY

Main topics discussed in the 16.1 Introduction


Chapter:- 16.1.1 Clause (6) of Part I of the Model Code of
• Defacement of Public Places Conduct for the Guidance of Political Parties and
Candidates provides that:
• Defacement of Private Places
No political party or candidate shall permit its
• Defacement of Halls, or his followers to make use of any individual’s
Auditoriums and Other land, building, compound wall, etc., without his
Government Owned permission for erecting flag-staffs, suspending
Properties banners, pasting notices, writing slogans etc.
• Defacement of Vehicles 16.1.2 But it is observed that at the time of elections,
• Timeline for Removal of political parties indulge in defacement of public as
Unauthorized Defacement well as private buildings, by sticking posters and
wall writings and sometimes without permission of
owners of the buildings. After elections are over, the
cost of removing the posters and wall writings are borne by the public
exchequer in case of a public building, and the individuals in case of
private buildings. In either case, it is the general public at large which
has to bear the loss for no fault of theirs’.
16.1.3 Some States have local laws under which the authorities are empowered
to prevent such defacement and bring to book the defaulters. There was
a special enactment in the State of West Bengal called the West Bengal
Prevention of Defacement of Property Act (which was later on repealed)
to deal with the menace. The Election Commission recommended the
enactment of similar provisions in other states also. Some of the state
governments passed legislations. Infact, except a few states, namely,
Assam, Gujarat, Kerala, Manipur, Meghalaya, Orissa, Rajasthan, Uttar
Pradesh and West Bengal and Union Territories of Dadra & Nagar
Haveli, Daman & Diu and Lakshadweep, all states have now their own

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state laws.
16.1.4 On 5 January 1994, the Election Commission issued instruction to
ensure strict compliance with the provisions of the local laws relating
to prevention of defacement of property and to prosecute and proceed
against those who were indulging in the violation of those laws. Main
highlight of this instruction was that the party/association/body/
candidate or any other person who had written or painted or pasted any
slogans, symbols or posters on any public or private building without
written permission of the owner of the building should be required to
get the defaced walls and buildings whitewashed or painted at its/his
cost so as to restore them to the original position.

16.2 Consolidated Instructions


16.2.1 The Election Commission’s above instruction made a salutary effect
on the cleanliness of the public and private properties and reduced the
expenditure of political parties and candidates considerably. However,
it was noted that despite several states having enacted state laws,
there was no uniformity throughout the county and therefore, a need
was felt for comprehensive guidelines on defacement of property for
guidance of political parties, law enforcing authorities and the Election
Commission’s observers deployed during elections. Accordingly, the
Election Commission issued fresh detailed guidelines superseding all
earlier instructions on 7th October, 2008 (Annexure XVII). With
subsequent modifications, the latest instructions in respect of defacement
of property are as follows:-
(i) Defacement of Public Places
(a) No wall writing, pasting of posters/papers or defacement
in any other form, or erecting/displaying of cutouts,
hoardings, banners, flags etc. shall be permitted on any
Government premises (including civil structures). A
Government premise would include any government office
and the campus wherein the office building is situated.
(b) If the local law expressly permits or provides for writing
of slogans, displaying posters, etc., or erecting cut-outs,

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hoardings, banners, political advertisements, etc., in


any public place, (as against a government premises) on
payment or otherwise, this may be allowed strictly in
accordance with the relevant provisions of the law and
subject to Court orders, if any, on this subject. It should be
ensured that any such place is not dominated/monopolized
by any particular party(ies) or candidate(s). All parties and
candidates should be provided equal opportunity in this
regard.
(c) If there is a specifically earmarked place provided for
displaying advertisements in a public place, e.g. bill boards,
hoardings etc. and if such space is already let out to any
agency for further allocation to individual clients, the
District Election Officer through municipal authority
concerned, if any, should ensure that all political parties
and candidates get equitable opportunity to have access to
such advertisement space for election related advertisements
during the election period.
(ii) Defacement of Private Places
(a) In the States where there is no local law on the subject, and
subject to the restrictions under the law where there is a law,
temporary and easily removable advertisement materials,
such as flags and banners may be put up in private premises
with the voluntary permission of the occupant. The
permission should be an act of free will and not extracted
by any pressure or threat. Such banner or flag should not
create any nuisance to others. Photo-copy of the voluntary
permission in writing obtained in this connection should
be submitted to the Returning Officer within 3 days of
putting up the flags and banners.
(b) In those states where the state/local defacement law
specifically prohibits display of flags, banners, hoardings
etc., the provisions in the law will strictly apply and such
material shall not be displayed on private property or

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property in public view;


(c) If the state/local law does not so specifically prohibit display
of flag or hoarding or banner, etc. on private property, then
such material (flag, banner, hoarding) can be allowed to
be displayed on private property, on own volition of the
owner/occupier of the property, subject, however to any
court decision/direction to the contrary. In the case of
display on others’ property, prior permission should be
obtained from the owner/occupier concerned.
(d) If the local law does not expressly permit wall writing,
pasting of posters, and similar other permanent/semi-
permanent defacement which is not easily removable, the
same shall not be resorted to under any circumstances,
even on the pretext of having obtained the consent of the
owner of the property. This will also apply in the states
where there is no local law on the subject of prevention of
defacement of property.
(e) Where the local law expressly permits wall writings and
pasting of posters, putting up hoardings, banners, etc.
on private premises with the owner’s permission, the
contesting candidates or the political parties concerned
shall obtain prior written permission from the owner of the
property and submit photocopy of the same within 3 days
to the Returning Officer or an officer designated by him for
the purpose, alongwith a statement giving the particulars
in the prescribed format. The statement in such cases
and in the cases mentioned in sub-para (a) above should
clearly mention the name and address of the owner of the
property from whom such permission has been obtained,
and expenditure incurred or likely to be incurred for the
purpose.
(f ) Nothing inflammatory or likely to incite disaffection
amongst communities shall be permissible in wall writings/
displays.

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(g) The expenditure incurred in such specific campaign of


candidate(s) shall be added to the election expenditure
made by the candidate. Expenditure incurred on exclusive
campaign for a political party (without mentioning any
candidate) shall not be added to candidate’s expenditure.
(h) The contesting candidate shall furnish such information
village/locality/town-wise, to the returning officer, or the
authorized officer within 3 days of obtaining the requisite
permission, for easy checking by the officers or the election
observer.
(i) Subject to restrictions under any local law or any court
orders in force, the political parties/candidates/their agents/
workers and supporters may put banners, buntings, flags,
cut-outs, on their own property, provided they do so on
their own violation, voluntarily and without any pressure
from the party/organization or/ any person. It should be
ensured that these do not cause any inconvenience in any
manner to anyone else. If such display of banners, flags
etc. aims to solicit vote for any particular candidate, then
the provisions of Section 171H of the Indian Penal Code,
1860 would be attracted and would have to be followed.
[Section 171H of the IPC stipulates that whoever without
the general or special authority in writing of a candidate
incurs or authorizes expenses on account of the holding of
any public meeting, or upon any advertisements, circular
or publication, or in any other way whatsoever for the
purpose of promoting or procuring the election of such
candidate, shall be punished with fine which may extend
to five hundred rupees: Provided that if any person having
incurred any such expenses not exceeding the amount
of ten rupees without authority obtains within ten days
from the date on which such expenses were incurred the
approval in writing of the candidate, he shall be deemed
to have incurred such expenses with the authority of the
candidate].

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(iii) Defacement of Halls, Auditoriums and Other Government


Owned Properties
In case of hall/auditoriums/meeting venues owned/controlled
by the Government/local authorities/PSUs/cooperatives, there is
no objection to use them if the law/guidelines governing their
use do not preclude political meetings. However, it shall be
ensured that the allocation is done on equitable basis and that
there is no monopolization by any political party or candidate.
In such venues, displaying of banners, buntings, flags, cut-outs,
may be permitted during the period of meetings subject to any
restrictions under the law/guidelines in force. Such banners, flags,
etc. shall be got removed by the party/individual who used the
premises, immediately after the meeting is over. Permanent/semi-
permanent defacement such as wall writing/pasting of posters etc.
shall not be permitted in such premises.
(iv) Defacement of Vehicles
(a) In private vehicles, subject to the provisions of the Motor
Vehicles Act and made rules thereunder and subject to court
orders in force, if any, flags and stickers can be put on the
vehicles by the owner of the vehicle on his own volition, in
such a manner that they do not cause any inconvenience or
distraction to other road users. If such display of flags and
stickers aims to solicit vote for any particular candidate,
then the provisions of Section 171H of the Indian Penal
Code, 1860 would have to be followed.
(b) On commercial vehicles, display of any flag, sticker etc.
shall not be permitted, unless such vehicle is a vehicle
being validly used for election campaign after obtaining the
requisite permit from the district election officer/returning
officer and the said permit is displayed, in original, on the
wind screen of the vehicle.
(c) External modification of vehicles including fitting of
loudspeaker thereon, would be subject to the provisions of
the Motor Vehicles Act/Rules and any other local act/rules.
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Vehicles with modifications and special campaign vehicles


like Video Rath etc., can be used only after obtaining the
requisite permission from the competent authorities under
the Motor Vehicles Act.
16.2.2 If any political party/association/candidate/person indulges in
defacement of any property in violation of the local law, if any, or the
above instructions, the returning officer/district election officer shall
issue notice to the offender for removing the defacement forthwith. If the
political party/association/candidate/person does not respond promptly,
the district authorities may take action to remove the defacement, and
the expenses incurred in the process shall be recovered from the political
party/association/candidate/person responsible for the defacement.
Further, the amount also shall be added to the election expenditure of
the candidate concerned, and action should also be initiated to prosecute
the offender under the provisions of the relevant law (under the law
relating to preventions of defacement, if any, or under the provisions of
the general law for causing willful damage to the property of others).

16.3 Timeline for Removal of Unauthorized Defacement


The Election Commission has fixed the following timelines for removal of
unauthorized display of electioneering material:-
(i) Defacement of Government property- For this purpose, a Government
premise would include any Government office and the campus wherein
the office building is situated. All wall writing, posters/papers or
defacement in any other form, cutout/hoardings, banners, flags etc,
on Government property shall be removed within 24 hours from the
announcement of elections by the Election Commission.
(ii) Defacement of public property and misuse of public space- All
unauthorized political advertisements, in the form of wall writings/
posters/papers or defacement in any other form, cutouts/hoardings,
banners/flags etc. at public property and in public space like railway
stations, bus stands, airports, railway bridges, roadways, government
buses, electric/telephone poles, municipal/local bodies’ buildings etc.,
shall be removed within 48 hours from the announcement of elections.

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(iii) Defacement of private property- Subject to any local law and Court’s
direction, all unauthorized political advertisements displayed at a private
property, shall be removed within 72 hours from the announcement of
elections by the Election Commission.

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CHAPTER 17
BAN ON SALE OF LIQUOR

Main topics discussed in the 17.1 Introduction


Chapter:- Liquor is generally believed to be in great demand
• Statutory Restriction during any elections. It is a common belief
that liquor and other intoxicants are offered as
• Restriction during the last 48 inducement to electors, particularly poor electors,
hours and day of poll/repoll to colour their judgement and to garner their votes.
• Restriction on day of counting That apart, excessive consumption of liquor and
other intoxicating drinks often gives rise to ugly
• Additional Measure to Check
scenes, and sometimes even to violence, disturbing
Use of Liquor to Bribe Voters
public order and creating law and order problems.
Therefore, some restrictions in one form or the
other on the sale, storage and serving of liquor and other intoxicants at the time
of every election have been in force from the very beginning.

17.2 Statutory Restriction


17.2.1 Prior to August 1996, there was no specific provision in the election
law prohibiting sale of liquor, etc, during the election period. In August
1996, however, an express provision to that effect was made in the
Representation of the People Act, 1951, by the insertion of a new
Section 135C therein, by the Representation of People (Amendment)
Act, 1996. Sub-section (1) of the new 135C provides that:
No spirituous, fermented or intoxicating liquors or other substances of a like
nature shall be sold, given or distributed at a hotel, eating house, tavern,
shop or any other place, public or private, within a polling area during the
period of forty-eight hours ending with the hour fixed for the conclusion of
the poll for any election in that polling area.
17.2.2 Sub-section (2) of that section makes any contravention of the above
provisions an electoral offence, punishable with imprisonment for a
term extending upto six months, or with fine extending upto Rs. 2,000
or with both. Under sub-section (3) thereof, any spirituous, fermented

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or intoxicating liquors or other substances of a like nature found in the


possession of the person contravening the above provisions are liable
to confiscation and disposal in such manner as may be prescribed.
However, no such manner has so far been prescribed for the disposal of
the confiscated liquors, etc. under the Act.

17.3 Election Commission Instructions


17.3.1 Restriction during the last 48 hours and day of poll/repoll: With the
above amendment to the law in August, 1996, the Election Commission
revised its directions on 21 September 1996, asking the state governments
only to ensure that the liquors shops and vends remain closed during the
period of 48 hours prescribed in Section 135C of the Representation
of the People Act, 1951 and during the period of poll. The Election
Commission has clarified that the same restrictions will also apply on
the date of repoll, if any, in any constituency. The Election Commission
has instructed that steps shall also be taken to prohibit sale of liquor in
adjoining areas of concerned constituency(ies) (even in the neighbouring
states) so that there is no chance of clandestine movement of liquor from
those areas where the restriction has not been in operation.
17.3.2 Restriction on day of counting: Though the law does not make any
provision for closure of liquor shops during the counting period, still
the Election Commission instructs the state governments to issue
appropriate orders under the relevant state laws for observance of ‘dry
days’ on the day(s) of counting.

17.4 Additional Measure to Check Use of Liquor to Bribe Voters


The Election Commission has directed to State authorities to launch special
drives to unearth illicit liquor-making factories and other bootlegging activities.
Further, special watch has to be kept on sale of liquor even by the authorized
outlets during the period from the date of notification of election till the date of
poll by:
(i) closely monitoring the production of IMFL, beer, country liquor with
reference to production figures in previous year;
(ii) watching the off take of IMFL, beer, country liquor from central

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stocks and if there are major deviations then a follow-up trial should be
established;
(iii) ensuring that stock limits of licensed stockists, in no case, exceed
permissible limits. Furthermore, all major stock points should be placed
under video surveillance round the clock and excise pickets with police
help be posted at these points,
(iv) daily receipt and offtake of retails sellers should be monitored. Excise
department officials should submit it every evening to the district
election officer who would take action on suspicious offtake,
(v) opening and closing time of liquor vending shops must be meticulously
followed.
(vi) intensive vigil over inter-state movement of vehicles at RTO check
posts and border check posts by excise staff should be kept by special
enforcement staff under the state excise department,
(vii) for effective checking of the vehicles at border check posts, assistance of
transport department should be obtained and joint checking of vehicles
by excise and transport officers should be carried out,
(viii) inter-state co-ordination among excise commissioners of bordering
states should be done for monitoring of inter-state movement of IMFL,
beer and country liquor;
(ix) district-level nodal officers and state-level nodal officer of excise
department should be identified to monitor the above aspects and
conduct raids to seize illicit liquor;
(x) district-level nodal officer will submit daily reports to the state-level
nodal officer with copy to the district election officer concerned and
the state-level nodal office will, in turn, submit daily report on excise
activity of the entire state to the chief electoral officer with a copy to the
expenditure monitoring cell in the Election Commission.

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CHAPTER 18
ELECTION MANIFESTOS

Main topics discussed in the 18.1 Introduction


Chapter:- 18.1.1 Political parties normally release their
• Supreme Court Directives on manifestos on the eve of elections, containing the
Election Manifestos declared ideology, in general, and their policies
and programmes for the people and electorate, in
• The Election Commission’s particular, in the context of the coming elections.
Guidelines on Election Election Manifesto serves as a reference document or
Manifestos benchmark for the public at large for what a political
• Election Manifesto Not party stands for and what it offers or promises to
Legally Enforceable offer to the electorate, in particular, if it comes to
power. The manifestos thus afford an opportunity
to the electorate to weigh and analyse the relative
merits of the parties and decide which of them deserves their support at
the hustings to meet their expectations and aspirations.
18.1.2 Earlier, political parties were generally not issuing manifestos. This is a
recent phenomenon as multiple political parties at the national and state
levels are now vying to woo the electorate to gain power in the election
fray by making more attractive offers to the people to induce them to
vote in their favour. In this competitive race, they not only project their
policies and programmes for the common good of the people at large,
but also make promises of certain tangible materials, which are now
being called in common parlance as ‘freebies’.

18.2 Supreme Court Directives on Election Manifestos


18.2.1 On the eve of general elections in the State of Tamil Nadu in 2006,
certain civil society organisations and private individuals approached the
Madras High Court questioning the promises of certain gift items in the
manifestos of the prominent political parties. The High Court (Madurai
Bench) saw no merit and dismissed the writ petition (No. 9013 of 2006-
S. Subramaniam Balaji v The Government of Tamil Nadu & Ors). The

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matter was taken by the petitioner to the Supreme Court. The Supreme
Court, by its order dated 5 July 2013, maintained that although the
law is obvious that the promise in the election manifesto cannot be
construed as ‘corrupt practice’ under Section 123 of the Representation
of People Act, 1951, the reality cannot be ruled out that distribution of
freebies of any kind, undoubtedly, influences all people.
18.2.2 The Hon’ble Court further stated that it has limited power to issue
directions to the legislature to legislate on a particular issue. However,
the Election Commission, in order to ensure level playing field between
the contesting parties and candidates in elections and also in order to see
that the purity of the election process does not get vitiated, as in past,
has been issuing instructions under Model Code. The fountainhead
of the powers under which the Election Commission issues these
orders is Article 324 of the Constitution, which mandates the Election
Commission to hold free and fair elections.
18.2.3 The Supreme Court added that considering that there is no enactment
that directly governs the contents of the election manifesto, the Court
hereby directs the Election Commission to frame guidelines for the same
in consultation with all the recognized political parties as when it had
acted while framing guidelines for general conduct of the candidates,
meetings, processions, polling day, party in power etc. In the similar
way, a separate head for guidelines for election manifesto released by a
political party can also be included in the Model Code of Conduct for
the guidance of Political Parties & Candidates.

18.3 The Election Commission’s Guidelines on Election Manifestos


18.3.1 Pursuant to the above direction of the Supreme Court, the Election
Commission called a meeting of all recognized national and state
political parties on 12 August 2013 for consultation on the issue of
framing guidelines for election manifestos of political parties. Majority
of the parties opposed the idea of framing any guidelines on manifestos,
considering it to be an infringement of their right to frame their policies
and programmes which, in their wisdom, were best suited to meet the
expectations and aspirations of the people, at large, and the electorate, in
particular. While the Election Commission agreed in principle with their

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point of view, having due regard to the above direction of the Supreme
Court, issued the guidelines to be adhered to by the political parties and
candidates while releasing their election manifesto for any election to the
Parliament or State Legislatures.
18.3.2 These guidelines were incorporated as Part VIII of the Model Code
of Conduct and it was clarified that the above guidelines would be
applicable from the date, a political party issues its manifesto irrespective
of whether such date is before or after the date of announcement of the
election schedule by the Election Commission. (Annexure XVIII)
These guidelines are as follows-
(i) The election manifesto shall not contain anything repugnant to the
ideals and principles enshrined in the Constitution and further that it
shall be consistent with the letter and spirit of other provisions of Model
Code.
(ii) The Directive Principles of State Policy enshrined in the Constitution
enjoin upon the State to frame various welfare measures for the citizens
and therefore there can be no objection to the promise of such welfare in
election manifesto. However, political parties should avoid making those
promises which are likely to vitiate the purity of the election process or
exert undue influence on the voters in exercising their franchise.
(iii) In the interest of transparency, level playing field and credibility of
promises, it is expected that manifesto also reflect the rationale for the
promises and broadly indicate the ways and means to meet the financial
requirement for it. Trust of voters should be sought only on those
promises which are possible to be fulfilled.
18.3.3 The Election Commission has further directed to all political parties to
send a copy of their election manifestos along with Hindi/English version
(if the original version is in the regional language) whenever released,
within 3 days of its release, for the Election Commission’s record. The
political parties have also been requested to submit a declaration along
with manifesto that the program/policies and promises made therein are
in consonance with Part VIII of the Model Code of Conduct. The Chief
Electoral Officers have been asked to obtain 3 copies of manifestos as

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well as declaration from the political parties/candidates within 3 days of


its release and analyze such election manifestos vis-à-vis the guidelines
on manifestos issued by the Election Commission, with their comments.

18.4 Election Manifesto Not Legally Enforceable


18.4.1 The Supreme Court held in Mithilesh Kumar Pandey v Union of India
that there is no provision in law which makes promises made by political
parties in their election manifestos enforceable against them.
18.4.2 Likewise, in Ashwini K Upadhyay v Government of National Territory of
Delhi, the Supreme Court observed that a poll manifesto does not have a
statutory backing and hence its enforceability is not within the purview
of the courts and therefore, rejected the prayer of the petitioner in that
case to give a direction to Delhi Government to pass Jan Lokpal Bill and
Swaraj Bill, as promised by Aam Admi Party in their party manifesto.
18.4.3 Though the courts have refused to entertain complaints seeking
enforcement of the promises made in the manifestos of political parties,
the Election Commission, on the basis of some complaints, issued
notices to Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and All India Anna Dravida
Munnetra Kazhagam relating to the manifestos released by them in the
context of the general election to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly
held in April-May 2016. It was alleged that Model Code was violated
by the political parties by not substantially adhering to the Election
Commission’s above-mentioned guidelines dated 19 February 2014 in
as much as the said manifestos did not give rationale for the promises
made and also did not broadly indicate the ways and means to meet
the financial requirements for fulfilling those promises. Whereas, All
India Anna Dravida Munnerta Kazhagam was censured by the Election
Commission as the explanation of the party was not considered
satisfactory, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam was advised to be more
circumspect and adhere to the provisions of Model Code. The Election
Commission observed that though the party provided explanation in
their reply with regard to the rationale and ways and means to meet the
promises, the same should have been given in the manifesto.
**********

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CHAPTER 19
MODEL CODE AND GOVT. OFFICIALS

Main topics discussed in the 19.1 Introduction


Chapter:- 19.1.1 The Election Commission conducts
• Policy on Transfers/Postings elections to Parliament and State Legislatures with
the assistance of administrative machinery of State
 Conditions of transfer Governments. Article 324(6) of the Constitution
 Applicability of the policy provides that the President, or the Governor of a State
shall, when so requested by the Election Commission,
 Relaxation/Exemption make available to the Election Commission, as may
 Consultation with Chief be necessary for discharge of the functions conferred
Electoral Officer on it. In view of this at the time of elections, the
election machinery gets augmented by inducting
 Transfer/posting of large number of government officials and police
Officials involved in officials, in addition to regular field machinery in
preparation of Electoral the States, consisted of the Chief Electoral Officer,
Roll District Election Officers, Returning Officers/
• Clarification on Transfers of Assistant Returning Officers etc.
Sub-Inspector of Police 19.1.2 Government official is backbone of the
• Ban on Transfers of Officials whole electoral system in the country. Though a
Connected with Election government official serves under the government of
the day but during elections he is expected to perform
• Briefing of Chief Minister/
the duty with impartiality and commitment towards
Home Minister by Police
democratic values. It is therefore, the election laws
Officers
(Section 129 of the Representation of the People
• Video Conferencing Between Act, 1951) provide that government officials are
Ministers and Government not to act for candidates or to influence voting. The
Officials Election Commission has put restriction even on a
private meeting between a government servant and
• Restrictions on Tours /Leave
a political functionary during the period of Model
of the Officers Whose Spouses
Code.
are Active in Political Arena

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19.2 Policy on Transfers/Postings


In interest of free and fair election and to ensure that there is no scope for public
complaints, the Election Commission has been following a consistent policy that
government officials directly connected with election are not posted in home
district or districts where they have served for considerably long period. The
purpose behind this policy is to neutralize the familiarity effect of local politician
and to ensure impartiality of the government officials. During general elections
to State Assemblies of Chhattisgarh and Bihar in 2013 and 2015, respectively,
complaints were received against some officers that they were reposted to the
same constituency/district where they were posted during previous elections. The
Election Commission, after obtaining factual reports from the Chief Electoral
Officers concerned, ordered to transfer out the said officers. It was noted that
such practice of reposting an officer to the same constituency/district, where
he was posted during the last elections, may have some political motive. So,
the Election Commission decided to include a new stipulation in its directions
issued on 7 September 2016, on the lines that “while taking decision of transfer/
posting of an officer it should be taken care that he/she may not be posted to
that constituency/district where he/she was posted in previous elections”.
The Election Commission further approved that smaller states who may have
problem of shortage of officers may seek exemption for specific cases if they are
unable to follow the above instructions. Accordingly, before 4-5 months period
from the date on which term of existing state assembly is to expire, the Election
Commission issues following guidelines to the concerned State Governments:
19.2.1 Conditions of transfer
(i) No officer connected directly with elections shall be allowed to
continue in the present district of posting:-
(a) if she/he is posted in her/his home district.
(b) if she/he has completed three years in that district during
last four (4) years or would be completing 3 years (on or
before the last day of the month in which the term of the
House is going to expire).
(ii) While calculating the period of three years, promotion to a post
within the district is to be counted.

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(iii) While implementing the above said instructions/transferring


officers, the concerned departments of the State Govt. should
take care that they are not posted to their home districts. During
January, 2019, the Commission with regard to the General
Election to the House of People, 2019 and certain State Assemblies
has further directed that it shall also be ensured that no District
Election Officer/Returning Officer/Assistant Returning Officer/
Police inspector/Sub-inspector or above is posted back or allowed
to continue in the Assembly Constituency/district where he/she
was posted in last Assembly election/any bye election held prior
to 31st May, 2017 (i.e. the period of two years from the date of
expiry of the House/Assembly).
(iv) If any small state/UT with a few number of districts, face any
difficulty in compliance of the above instruction, then it may
refer the specific case with reasons, to the Election Commission
through Chief Electoral Officer for exemption and the Election
Commission would issue directions, if considered necessary.
19.2.2 Applicability of the policy
(i) These instructions shall cover not only officers appointed for
specific election duties like District Election Officers, Deputy
District Election Officers, Returning Officers/Assistant Returning
Officers, Electoral Registration Officers/Assistant Electoral
Registration Officers, officers appointed as nodal officers of any
specific election works but also district officers like Additional
District Magistrates, Sub Divisional Magistrates, Dy. Collector/
Joint Collector, Tehsildar, Block Development Officers or any
other officer of equal rank directly deployed for election works.
(ii) These instructions shall also be applicable to the police
department officers such as Range Inspector Generals, Deputy
Inspector Generals, Commandants of State Armed Police,
Senior Superintendent of Police, Superintendent of Police, Addl.
Superintendent of Police, Sub-Divisional Head of Police, Station
House Officers, Inspectors, Sub-Inspector, Reserve Inspectors/
Sergeant Majors or equivalent ranks, who are responsible for

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security arrangement or deployment of police forces in the district


at election time.
(iii) The Police Sub-Inspectors and above should not be posted in
their home district.
(iv) If a police sub-Inspector has completed or would be completing
a tenure of 3 years out of four years on or before the cutoff date,
in a police sub-division, then he should be transferred out to a
police sub-division which does not fall in the same Assembly
Constituency. If that is not possible due to small size of district,
then he/she should be transferred out of the district.
19.2.3 Relaxation/Exemption:- The following government officials are not
covered under the transfer policy mentioned above-
(i) The police officials who are posted in functional departments like
computers, special branch, training, etc. are not covered under
these instructions.
(ii) During an election a large number of employees are drafted for
different types of election duty and the Election Commission has
no intention of massive dislocation of state machinery by large
scale transfers. Hence, the aforesaid transfer policy is normally not
applicable to officers/officials who are not directly connected with
elections like doctors, engineers, teachers/principals etc. However,
if there are specific complaints of political bias or prejudice
against any such govt. officer, which on enquiry, are found to be
substantiated, then Chief Election Officer/Election Commission
of India may order not only for transfer of such official but also
for appropriate departmental action against him/her.
(iii) The officers appointed as Sector Officer/Zonal Magistrate involved
in election duties are not covered under these instructions.
However, the observers, Chief Electoral Officer/District Election
Officers and Returning Officers should keep a close watch on
their conduct to ensure that they are fair and non-partisan in
performance of their duties.
(iv) These instructions do not apply to the officers posted in the State

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headquarters of the department concerned.


(v) It is further directed that the officers/officials against whom the
Election Commission had recommended disciplinary action in
past and which is pending or which has culminated with a penalty
or the officers who have been charged for any lapse in any election
or election related work in the past, shall not be assigned any
election related duty. However, an officer who was transferred
during any past election under the Election Commission’s order
without any recommendation of disciplinary actions will not be,
just on this ground, considered for transfer, unless specifically
so directed by the Election Commission. The Chief Electoral
Officer must ensure compliance of the Election Commission’s
instructions contained in letter no. 464/INST/2008-EPS dated
23 December 2008. (Annexure XIX)
(vi) The Election Commission further desires that no officer/official,
against whom a criminal case is pending in any court of law, be
associated with/deployed on election related duty.
(vii) Any officer, who is due to retire within the coming six months
will be exempted from the purview of the Election Commission’s
above-mentioned directions. Further, officers falling in the
category (home district/3+ criteria, if they are due to retire within
6 months) shall not be engaged for performing election duties
without permission of the Election Commission.
(viii) It is further clarified that all the officials of the State (except those
posted in the office of the Chief Electoral Officer), who are on
extension of service or re-employed in different capacities, will
not be associated with any election related work. All election
related Officers will be required to give a declaration in the format
specified to the District Election Officer concerned, who shall
inform to Chief Electoral Officer, accordingly. (Annexure XX)
19.2.4 Consultation with Chief Electoral Officer: The Chief Electoral Officer
of the State shall invariably be consulted while posting the persons in
place of present incumbents who stand transferred as per the above
policy of the Election Commission. A copy of each of the transfer orders
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issued under these directions shall be given to the Chief Electoral Officer
without fail.
19.2.5 Transfer/posting of Officials involved in preparation of Electoral
Roll: The transfer orders in respect of officers/officials, who are engaged
in the electoral rolls revision work, if any, during an election year shall
be implemented only after final publication of the electoral rolls, in
consultation with the Chief Electoral Officer. In case of any need for
transfer due to any extra ordinary reasons, prior approval of the Election
Commission shall be taken.

19.3 Clarification on Transfers of Sub-Inspector of Police


19.3.1 There may be cases where it may be difficult to affect the transfer of
Police Officers who are in-charge of Thana in compliance of the
policy laid down in the abovementioned instruction of the Election
Commission, in big Metro cities/smaller states having less number
of districts. In such cases, the territorial consideration for such police
officer may be sub-division as an exception. In rest of the other cases the
territorial jurisdiction may be district, with prior approval of Election
Commission.
19.3.2 A question has been raised whether this instruction is applicable for the
Sub-Inspector of Police. It is clarified that, where the Sub-Inspector of
Police is in-charge of Thana, he is covered by this instruction and hence
is required to be transferred as per guideline laid down above.

19.4 Ban on Transfers of Officials Connected with Election


19.4.1 With announcement of election, the Election Commission directs that
there shall be a total ban on the transfer of all officers/officials connected
with the conduct of the election. These include but are not restricted to:
-
(i) The Chief Electoral Officer and Additional/Joint/Deputy Chief
Electoral Officers;
(ii) Divisional Election Commissioners;
(iii) The District Election Officers, Returning Officers, Assistant

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Returning Officers and other Revenue Officers connected with


the conduct of elections;
(iv) Officers of the Police Department connected with the management
of elections like Range IGs and DIGs, Senior Superintendents of
Police and Superintendents of Police, sub-divisional level Police
Officers like Deputy Superintendents of Police and other Police
officers who are deputed to the Election Commission under
Section 28A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951;
(v) The transfer orders issued in respect of the above categories of
officers prior to the date of announcement but not implemented
till the time when Model Code came into effect should not be
given effect to without obtaining specific permission from the
Election Commission.
(vi) In those cases where transfer of an officer is considered necessary
on account of administrative exigencies, the State Government
may, with full justification, approach the Election Commission
for prior clearance.
(vii) No appointments or promotions in Government / Public
Undertakings shall be made during this period, without prior
clearance of the Election Commission.
(viii) This ban shall be effective till the completion of the election
process.

19.5 Briefing of Chief Minister/Home Minister by Police Officers


19.5.1 The Election Commission has issued instructions to the effect that
government officials shall not be called for any meeting other than the
official meeting by Ministers or political functionaries. In this connection,
the Election Commission has also clarified that security briefings of
Chief Minister or the Home Ministers when considered essential should
be undertaken by the Home Secretary or the Chief Secretary, who in
turn should be briefed by the police agencies. The instructions further
state that in case where police agency’s/official’s presence is considered
essential, the Chief Secretary/Home Secretary may require them to be
present in such briefings.
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19.5.2 These instructions should not be construed as restriction to any security


related activity of the law and order enforcing agencies. Therefore, in
situation where it is so warranted, the law and order enforcing agencies
should not take the plea of Election Commission’s instructions for any
inaction or delay in action on their part. Whatever is required under
the circumstances, including informing the political executives by the
Director General of Police and taking directions from them, should be
undertaken by the police agencies in the bonafide performance of their
duty or exercise of their authority.

19.6 Video Conferencing Between Ministers and Government Officials


19.6.1 The Election Commission had directed that during the period of
operation of Model Code, no video-conferencing shall take place
between the Chief Minister/Ministers/ political functionaries of the
Union and State Govts. with the Government officials.
19.6.2 The Election Commission reviewed the matter in the light of certain
requests to permit video-conferencing to assess/monitor situation in the
event of natural calamity and decided that in the immediate aftermath
of any calamity of significant scale/magnitude, if video-conferencing is
considered essential, the Chief Minister or Minister concerned may hold
the one with the officials, subject to the following conditions:-
(i) Prior approval of the Chief Electoral Officer should be obtained by
the department concerned before holding video conference. For
any subsequent VC, permission from the Election Commission
shall be obtained;
(ii) Only the Collector/District Magistrate and senior officials in
charge of the relief in connection with the natural calamity of
the area concerned alone shall be called to attend the video-
conferencing;
(iii) No issue other than rescue/relief and other aspects connected to
the calamity shall be discussed in the VC;
(iv) No publicity whatsoever shall be given for the VC, either before
or after the VC,

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(v) The VC should not be open to media;


(vi) An Audio/Video recording of the proceedings of the VC shall be
maintained by the Department concerned and a copy of the same
given to the Chief Electoral Officer;
(vii) No announcement or promise of any grant, assistance in cash
or kind, and no statement of political nature or announcement
capable of influencing the electors shall be made through the VC.
(viii) A representative of the Chief Electoral Officer will be present
during the VC.
19.6.3 The above exception is only in the immediate aftermath of a calamity of
significant scale/magnitude, otherwise the ban on video-conferencing by
Ministers and political functionaries with the officials during the period
of operation of Model Code will continue to apply as generic principle.

19.7 Restrictions on Tours /Leave of the Officers Whose Spouses are


Active in Political Arena
19.7.1 Several instances have come to notice of the Election Commission where
spouses of the officers belonging to the Indian Administrative Service,
Indian Police Service and State Governments are active in the political
arena either as candidates in elections or as active members of political
parties.
19.7.2 The Election Commission in the interest of free and fair poll, directs
that in all such cases the concerned officers should not leave their
Headquarters either on leave or on tour till the elections are complete
in all respects.
19.7.3 If for some reason they are required to leave their Headquarters during the
election period, then specific written permission of the Chief Secretary
has to be obtained before they leave, who should ensure that such
officers do not get involved in any way with the political activities of
their spouses.

**********

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CHAPTER 20
MODEL CODE DURING BYE-ELECTIONS

Main topics discussed in the 20.1 Introduction


Chapter:- In the case of a bye-election, Model Code is applied
• Applicability of Model Code in the district or districts in which the constituency
concerned falls. The Election Commission has
• Tours of Ministers noticed a disturbing trend during certain bye-
• Announcement of New elections, when political functionaries of various
Schemes/Projects ruling parties, including their Ministers, try to
circumvent the spirit behind Model Code. It is seen
• Announcement of Dearness that Ministers frequently hold official meetings in
Allowance neighbouring districts, categorizing their visits for
• Publication of Advertisements official work and, while stationed there, carried out
political activities for the bye-elections. Officials
• Removal of References of
from the district(s) where bye-elections take place
Ministers from Official
are also called for such meetings. Sometimes it is
Websites
observed that more than half the cabinet stations
• Restriction on Promises/ itself in neighbouring districts on official work, and
Statements on Religious/ carries out the political activities relating to the bye-
Communal Ground elections there. Keeping all this in view, the Election
• Transfer/Postings of Commission has laid down specific guidelines to be
Government Officials observed on ground, in case of bye-elections.


Bye-election to the 20.2 Applicability of Model Code
Assembly Constituency 20.2.1 As soon as the program of a bye-election is
(ies) announced by the Election Commission, Model

Bye-election to the Code is enforced in the entire district, in which
Assembly Constituency the Assembly/Parliamentary Constituency is
(ies) located. Certain State Governments have requested
the Election Commission to suitably modify the
instruction as application of Model Code in the entire district during
bye-election affects the developmental work in the whole of the district
whereas only a part of the district may be involved in the election
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process. The Election Commission has considered the issue and in


partial modification directed that in case the constituency going to bye-
election is comprised in the state capital/metropolitan city/municipal
corporation, Model Code would be applicable in the particular assembly
constituency segment only and not in the whole of the district. In all
other cases, Model Code would be enforced in the entire district(s)
covering the constituency going for bye-election(s).
20.2.2 In case of bye-elections to the Lok Sabha/State Legislative Assemblies,
Model Code will cease to be in operation immediately after the formal
declaration of the result of the bye-election by the Returning Officer
concerned.

20.3 Tours of Ministers


20.3.1 No Ministers belonging whether to Central Govt. or State Govt., shall
combine in any manner their official tours with election work after
the announcement of the bye-elections. They shall return to their
headquarters on completion of their official tours. All and any visits
to the district (s) where bye-election is being held and Model Code
is in force have to be completely private in nature and such private
visits should begin and end at the Minister’s headquarters. Further, it
is clarified that if a Minister or person holding equivalent rank/status
combines his official visit with campaign by en routing his journey for
official purposes to a place where Model Code is not in force and then
proceeding from that place to the area where Model Code is in force
for election campaign, expenses on the entire journey shall be treated as
election expenditure.
20.3.2 In case where a Minister travelling on official work transits through the
district(s) where the bye-election is being held en route to any other
district on official visit, he shall not halt and attend to any political work
in the district (s) where Model Code is in force.
20.3.3 No official of any rank of the district (s) where the bye-election is being
held shall be called to attend any meeting by any Minister in any district,
that is to say, even in the other districts where election is not being held.
20.3.4 Any official who meets the Minister on his private visit to the constituency

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where elections are being held shall be guilty of misconduct under the
relevant service rules; and if he happens to be an official mentioned in
Section 129(1) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, he shall
also be additionally considered to have violated the statutory provisions
of that section and liable to penal action provided thereunder.
20.3.5 No pilot car(s) or car(s) with beacon lights of any colour or car(s) affixed
with sirens of any kind making his presence conspicuous shall be used
by any Minister during his private visit to the constituency even if the
state administration has granted him a security cover requiring presence
of armed guards accompanying him on tour.
20.3.6 The ministers have been permitted to take one non-gazetted official to
accompany them during their private visits to attend to urgent official
work.
20.3.7 The Election Commission has further laid down that the Chief Electoral
Officer of the state shall be kept informed, in advance, of visits proposed
to be undertaken by any minister(s) of the State or Central government
to the district where bye-election is being held, by the District Election
Officer. The Chief Electoral Officer shall forthwith communicate the
same to the Election Commission.

20.4 Announcement of New Schemes/Projects


20.4.1 No work shall start, in respect of which, work orders may have been
issued but the work has actually not started in the field. These works
can start only after completion of election process. However, if a work
has actually started, that can continue.
20.4.2 The schemes which have been cleared and funds provided/released
and materials procured and reached the site, may be executed as per
programme.
20.4.3 There shall be no bar to release of payments for completed work(s)
subject to the full satisfaction of the concerned officials.
20.4.4 No fresh release of funds for any schemes, in operation under MPLAD
(including Rajya Sabha members)/MLALAD/ MLCLAD shall be made,
till the completion of election process.

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20.5 Announcement of Dearness Allowance


There is no instruction during the bye-elections prohibiting State Governments
to take decisions which have State wide effect. In this context the Election
Commission, after taking into consideration all relevant factors in this regard, has
decided that announcement of Dearness Allowance by the State Governments
may be done as a routine affair and it should not be publicized as the Government’s
achievement.

20.6 Publication of Advertisements


20.6.1 It is observed that the governments of the day publish advertisements
of various kinds, including advertisements on their accomplishments
and achievements. Such advertisements are often released on special
occasions such as Republic Day, Independence Day, birthdays of
prominent leaders, anniversary of government etc. On such occasions,
if bye-elections are in progress, the issue of Model Code comes into
question. It is not technically possible to block such advertisements,
especially in the print media, in the specific areas covered under Model
Code, while publishing it in the other places.
20.6.2 The Election Commission has considered the issue and taking into
account all aspects of the matter, directed that release/publishing of
advertisements at the cost of public exchequer during the period of
operation of Model Code in bye-elections will be regulated as follows:-
(i) An advertisement of general nature in connection with specific
occasions of importance may be published, however, the same shall
be restricted to the dates coinciding with the said occasion only,
and it shall not be published on other days. The advertisement
shall not bear photograph of any Minister or other political
functionaries.
(ii) No advertisement having a specific/pointed reference or
connotation to the areas covered by the constituencies going to
bye-election shall be released/published on any date during the
period.
(iii) Further, it is clarified that no new schemes should be advertised in

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the districts where the bye-election is being conducted.

20.7 Removal of References of Ministers from Official Websites


The Election Commission’s existing instructions relating to general election
provide that during the period when Model Code is in force, all references to
ministers/politicians/political parties on concerned state/central government’s
official websites, shall be taken off/ purged of. During bye-elections, these
instructions may be confined to only those politicians/ministers who themselves
are contesting such bye- elections.

20.8 Restriction on Promises/Statements on Religious/Communal Ground


20.8.1 It has come to the notice of the Election Commission that during the
bye-elections, the party in power or the sitting MPs/MLAs tend to make
promises/appeals on religious/communal grounds in those parts of the
districts/areas in their State where Model Code is not in operation so
as to avoid the violation of Model Code. This has, however, indeed
far reaching implications as it would certainly influence the minds of
electors of the Assembly Constituency/Parliamentary Constituency
where the bye election(s) is going on and, thus, vitiate the free and fair
elections in that constituency(ies).
20.8.2 The Election Commission has directed that as soon as bye- election(s) to
any Assembly Constituency/Parliamentary Constituency is announced
in a State, the Chief Electoral Officer concerned shall issue an advisory
to all the recognized political parties in the State/UT to request their
Ministers and sitting MPs/MLAs not to make promises/statements on
religious or communal ground, even in those areas where Model Code is
not in force so that the purity of election process is maintained and no
ill feeling is generated among the general public.

20.9 Transfer/Postings of Government Officials


20.9.1 The Election Commission, in its task of conducting free and fair elections
has followed the consistent policy to ensure that government officials,
who are connected with the conduct of bye-election in the States, are not
posted in their home constituency and the areas falling in the Assembly/
Parliamentary Constituency(ies) where they have served for long.

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(i) Bye-election to the Assembly Constituency (ies):


(A) No officer connected directly with the conduct of Bye-
elections, should be allowed to continue in the present
posting within the Assembly Constituency limits:-
(a) If she/he is posted in her/his home Assembly
Constituency limit;
(b) If she/he has completed three years during last four
years or would be completing 3 years on or before
the last day of the sixth month from the date of
occurrence of the casual vacancy.
(B) Such officers shall be shifted out of the Assembly
Constituency limit.
(a) These instructions cover Returning Officers and
Assistant Returning Officers of the Assembly
Constituencies going for bye-elections. These
instructions will also cover other officers viz. Deputy/
Assistant Collectors, Sub-Divisional Magistrates,
Tehsildars and Block Development Officers located
in Assembly Constituency limits. It is however
clarified that officers appointed as Sector Officers,
though directly involved in election duties will not be
covered under these instructions as they are deployed
in field duties where their knowledge of the area/
terrain is crucial to effective performance of their
duties. The Chief Electoral Officer, District Election
Officer and Returning Officer should however, keep
a close watch on them during the election period to
ensure that their performance is strictly impartial.
(b) As far as officers in the Police Department are
concerned, these instructions shall be applicable to
the Sub-Divisional Head of Police, Dy.SPs/Circle
Officers, Inspectors, Sub-Inspectors or equivalent
ranks posted in the field within the Assembly

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Constituency limit.
(C) Accordingly, a detailed review may, be undertaken and
all such officers be posted out of their home constituency
limits where they have completed or will complete,
on the aforesaid date, tenure of three years in Assembly
Constituency limit out of the last four years, immediately.
Further, for uniformity, the three year period shall be
reckoned backwards from the last day of the sixth month
as mentioned from the date of occurrence of the casual
vacancy.
(ii) Bye-election to the Parliamentary Constituency (ies):
(A) No officer connected directly with the conduct of Bye-
elections to the Parliamentary Constituency going for bye-
election, shall be allowed to continue in the present posting
within the Parliamentary Constituency limits:-
(a) If she/he is posted in her/his home district within
the concerned Constituency limit;
(b) If she/he has completed three years during last four
years or would be completing 3 years on or before
the last day of the sixth month from the date of
occurrence of the casual vacancy.
(B) Such officers shall be shifted out of the Parliamentary
Constituency limit.
(a) These instructions cover Returning Officers and
Assistant Returning Officers of the Parliamentary
Constituencies going for bye-elections. These
instructions will cover only that District Election
Officer who is designated as Returning Officer.
Other District Election Officers, even if some part of
their district falls in the Parliamentary Constituency
going for bye-elections shall not be covered under
these instructions. The instructions will however
cover other officers viz. Additional Collector,

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Additional District Magistrate, Deputy Collectors,


Assistant Collectors, Sub-Divisional Magistrates,
Tehsildars and Block Development Officers located
in Parliamentary Constituency limit. It is however
clarified that officers appointed as Sector Officers,
though directly involved in election duties will
not be covered under these instructions as they are
deployed in field duties where their knowledge of
the area/terrain is crucial to effective performance
of their duties. The Chief Electoral Officer, District
Election Officer and Returning Officer should,
however, keep a close watch on them during the
election period to ensure that their performance is
strictly impartial.
(b) As far as officers in the Police Department are
concerned, these instructions shall be applicable to
the Superintendent of Police located in the District
whose District Election Officer is also the Returning
Officer. Other Superintendent of Police, even if
some part of their district falls in the Parliamentary
Constituency going for bye-elections shall not be
covered under these instructions. These instruction
will however cover Additional SP, Sub-Divisional
Head of Police, Dy.SPs/Circle Officers, Inspectors,
Sub-Inspectors or equivalent ranks posted in the
field within the Parliamentary Constituency limit.
(C) Accordingly, a detailed review may, be undertaken and
all such officers be posted out of their home constituency
limits where they have completed or will complete,
on the aforesaid date, tenure of three years in Assembly
constituency limit out of the last four years, immediately.
Further, for uniformity, the three year period shall be
reckoned backwards from the last day of the sixth month
from the date of occurrence of the casual vacancy.
20.9.2 Normally, bye-election is held to fill up a casual vacancy within a period
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of six months from the date of occurrence of vacancy (excepting a


situation beyond control of the Election Commission). Hence, it would
be advisable if the State Government initiates steps for implementation
of these guideline immediately after occurrence of a casual vacancy in a
constituency so that last moment dislocation of officers can be avoided.
20.9.3 The Election Commission has in the past received complaints that
while the State Government transfers officials in the above categories,
in pursuance of the direction issued by the Election Commission, the
individuals try to circumvent the objective by proceeding on leave
and physically not moving out of the district from which they stand
transferred. The Election Commission has viewed this seriously and
desired that all such officials who stand transferred in pursuance of the
instructions referred to above shall be asked to move physically out of
the district from which they stand transferred immediately on receipt of
the transfer orders.
20.9.4 Any officer, who is due to retire within the next six months, will be
exempted from the purview of the above-mentioned directions of the
Election Commission. Further, officers falling in category (home/3+
criteria) shall not be engaged for performing election duties during the
elections, if they are due to retire within 6 months.
20.9.5 The officers/officials against whom Election Commission has
recommended disciplinary action or who have been charged for any
lapse in any election or elections related work, in the past, shall not be
assigned any election related duty.
20.9.6 No officer/official against whom a criminal case is pending in any Court
of Law will be associated with the election work or election related duty.
20.9.7 Applicability of the instructions: The above instructions will be applied
within the area falling under the concerned Assembly/Parliament
Constituency. The District Election Officer/Returning Officer should
ensure that deployment of any officer from outside the constituency for
any election related duty, is done in conformation to the transfer policy
of the Election Commission.
**********

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CHAPTER 21
MODEL CODE DURING BIENNIAL
ELECTIONS

Main topics discussed in the 21.1 Introduction


Chapter:- 21.1.1 The Election Commission has been
• Restriction on visits of enforcing Model Code during election to Legislative
Ministers and announcement Council for graduates, teachers and local authority
of new schemes etc. constituencies. Even in 2010, biennial election
to Karnataka Legislative Council the Election
• Restriction on Use of Vehicles Commission censured two Bharatiya Janata Party
• Recording of Minister’s Visit leaders for canvassing in a college premises without
obtaining permission from the college management.
• Meeting with Government Still, there was a lack of clarity with regard to
officials applicability of Model Code in such elections.
• Ban on transfer of 21.1.2 To examine the matter and submit
Government officials suggestions on enforceability of Model Code in
• Use of maidan/helipads etc. elections to Council Constituencies, the Election
Commission constituted a Working Group. After
• Accomodation at Government
having considered the report of the Working
Dak Bangalows
Group and the matter in its entirety, the Election
• Restriction on the presence Commission decided in December 2016, that all
of political functionaries in a the provisions of Model Code of Conduct for the
constituency during the last political parties and candidates’ shall apply mutatis
48 hours mutandis in biennial election including bye elections
• Ban on sale of liquor to the State Legislative Councils from Graduates’ &
Teachers’ Constituencies as well as Local Authorities’
• Appointment of MCMC Constituencies. Consequently, various instructions
• Bulk SMS and Voice messages issued by the Election Commission from time
during election campaigning to time in clarification of Model Code provisions
would also apply for such elections (from the date of
announcement of election till the date of completion
of election).

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21.2 Consolidated Instructions (Annexure XXI):-


21.2.1 Restriction on visits of Ministers and announcement of new schemes
etc.- Visits/tours of Ministers, whether Central or State, including
Chief Minister any district(s) in which any Biennial/Bye-election from
a Council Constituency is being held will be subject to the following
conditions: -
(i) Official visit shall not be combined with the election related work/
tours.
(ii) There shall be no announcement of new policy programme/
policy likely to influence the graduates, the teachers and members
of Local Authorities who form the electorate of the Constituencies
going to poll.
(iii) No policy announcement or programme, which influences the
electorate either directly or indirectly, shall be initiated in the
Government Departments till the completion of elections.
(iv) They shall not do any inauguration/laying of foundation stones of
any educational institution, which are constituents of Graduates’
and Teachers’ Constituencies.
(v) No fresh sanction of work using the IT platform depending upon
the MP/MLA/MLC schemes for work that would amount to
influencing the electorate.
[Clarification: It is clarified that Model Code provisions relating
to sanction out of discretionary funds, announcement of
financial grant, laying foundation stones of projects, promises
of construction of roads/drinking water lines and adhoc
appointments, contained in Part VII clauses (v) and (vi) would be
applicable only with regard to graduates/teachers/local authority
constituencies where election is being held].
21.2.2 The practice of keeping the electors in hotels/resorts and other similar
places during election period would amount to bribing of electors.
21.2.3 Restriction on Use of Vehicles
(i) The provision regarding prevention of misuse of vehicles and
regulation of convoys during campaign period as in the case of

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elections to House of People / Legislative Assemblies shall be


made applicable for Council elections too.
(ii) No pilot car(s) or other car(s) with beacon lights of any colour
or car(s) affixed with sirens of any kind making his presence
conspicuous shall be used by any Minister during his private
visit to the constituency, even if the State administration has
granted him a security cover requiring presence of armed guards
accompanying him on tour.
(iii) The restrictions on “official tours” of Central and State Ministers
will also be applicable to the use of any “official cars” by
“office bearers” of local authorities, like, Mayors of Municipal
Corporations, Presidents of Municipal Councils and Zilla
Parishads. The use of official cars by them shall only be allowed
for travel to and from office to residence.
21.2.4 Recording of Minister’s Visit
Due recording will be done of visits and public meetings by Ministers
and important political dignitaries made in the constituencies where
biennial election is being held. For that purpose, District Election
Officer/Returning Officer, in consultation with Chief Electoral Officer
of the state and Election Commission’s Observer, should put in place
a special video team for every tehsil and as per the requirement. The
Observer shall see the video recording in the evening of the same day so
that he can report violation, if any, to the Election Commission, in the
prescribed format.
21.2.5 Meeting with Government officials
(i) No official of any rank of the district(s) dealing with election
related work where the biennial/bye-elections are being held shall
be called to attend meeting by any Minister at any place, even in
another district, where election is not being held.
(ii) Any official who meets the Minister on his private visit to the
constituency where elections are being held shall be deemed to
be guilty of misconduct under the relevant service rules; and if
he happens to be an officer mentioned in Section 129 (1) of the

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Representation of the People Act, 1951, he shall be additionally


considered to have violated the statutory provisions of that section
and liable to penal action provided thereunder.
(iii) No member of any local authority which forms part of the
electorate of a Local Authorities’ Constituency shall be called for
any meeting/video conference by any Minister (in his capacity as
Minister). Routine meetings of the local bodies, when essential,
may be held with the prior permission of the District Election
Officer of the District concerned.
21.2.6 Ban on transfers of Government officials: There shall be a total ban
on the transfers of Returning Officers and Assistant Returning Officers
of biennial elections/bye-elections to State Legislative Councils from the
announcement to completion of elections. The transfer orders in respect
of the above officers issued prior to the date of announcement but not
implemented should not be given effect to without obtaining specific
permission of the Election Commission. In those cases, where transfer of
an officer is necessary on account of administrative exigencies, the State
Govt. may, with full justification, approach the Election Commission,
for prior clearance.
21.2.7 Use of maidan/helipads etc:- Public places such as maidans etc., for
holding election meetings and helipads for landing of helicopters/
aircrafts in connection with elections shall not be monopolized by the
party in power. Other parties and candidates shall also be allowed to use
them on first-cum-first served basis.
21.2.8 Accommodation at Government Dak Bangalows: Model Code
provides that circuit houses/dak bangalows or other government
accommodations shall not be monopolized by the party in power or its
candidates. [The phrase ‘rest houses, dak bangalows or other government
accommodation’ includes guest houses of all institutions that are getting
government assistance in any form of grant in aid].
21.2.9 Restriction on the presence of political functionaries in a
constituency during the last 48 hours- The restriction on staying of
political functionaries in the poll going constituency after the campaign
period is over i.e., 48 hours before the closure of the poll, shall be made
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applicable for Council elections also.


21.2.10 Ban on sale of liquor:- Under Section 29 of the Representation of
the People Act, 1951 read with Rule 69 of the Conduct of the Election
Rules, 1961, a place of poll is fixed for conducting poll in respect of
election to the Council of States and the State Legislative Councils by
MLAs. As per Section 135C, “dry day” is to be declared in polling areas.
[Clarification: ‘Polling area’ is defined in Section 25 of the Representation of
the People Act, 1951, which is also applicable to elections from Constituencies
i.e. for elections to Lok Sabha, Legislative Assemblies and elections to
Legislative Councils from Graduates’, Teachers’ and Local Authorities’
Constituencies.]
21.2.11 In order to conduct free and fair elections and to keep a check on
adverse role of money power, particularly the movement of black money
during biennial elections/bye-elections to Legislative Council, the
Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued on 29.05.2015, excepting
deployment of Static Surveillance Teams, should be made applicable.
21.2.12 Appointment of MCMC:- As prescribed in the Compendium of
Instructions on Election Expenditure Monitoring, immediately on
announcement of biennial/ bye elections, State and District Media
Certification and Monitoring Committee (MCMC) shall be appointed,
for pre-certification of election advertisements as in case of TV channels
/ cable network, radio including private FM Channels, cinema halls,
audio-visual displays in public places, social media and monitoring the
general conduct of political functionaries during campaign.
21.2.13 Bulk SMS/Voice messages during Election campaigning:- The bulk
SMSs/Voice messages on phone in election campaigning shall also be
in the purview of pre-certification of election advertisements as in case
of TV Channels / cable network, radio including private FM channels,
cinema halls, Audio-Visual displays in public places and social media.
The legal provisions, as applicable to other modes of electronic media
shall also be applicable to such bulk SMSs/ Voice messages.

**********
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CHAPTER 22
MISCELLANEOUS

Main topics discussed in the 22.1 Use Of Guest Houses


Chapter:- 22.1.1 Model Code provides that rest houses, dak
• Use Of Guest Houses bungalows or other Government accommodations
shall not be monopolized by the party in power
• Participation of Political or its candidates and such accommodations
Functionaries in Celebration shall be allowed to other parties and candidates in
of Important Days a fair manner. No party or candidate shall use or
• Holding of Feast/Party on a be allowed to use such accommodation (including
Religious Occasion During premises appertaining thereto) as a campaign office
Elections:- or for holding any public meeting for the purposes
of election propaganda.
• Temporary Campaign Office
22.1.2 The Election Commission has maintained
• Use of animals in election
that circuit houses/dak bungalows are only
process
for temporary stay (boarding and lodging)
• Major tenders and auctions during transit of such functionaries and their use
– relating to liquor vendors/ should restrict to that purpose only. The Election
tendu leaves etc. Commission has directed that:
• Applicability of Model (i) Even casual meetings by members of political
Code on Matters relating to parties inside the premises of the Government
Defence Forces owned guest house etc. are not permitted and any
• Engagement of Child Labour violation of this shall be deemed to be a violation
in the Election Related of Model Code.
Activities (ii) Only the vehicle carrying the person allotted
• Restriction on Use of Plastic accommodation in the guest house and not more
during Electioneering than two other vehicles, if used by the person,
will be permitted inside the compound of the guest
house,
(iii) Rooms should not be made available for more than 48 hours to
any single individual.

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22.1.3 There will be freeze on such allocations from 48 hours before the close
of poll till completion of poll or re-poll.
22.1.4 In April 2006, the Election Commission considered the issue regarding
use of guest houses in the light of requests received from various state
governments and political parties and decided that accommodation in
government guest houses/rest houses or guest houses of Public Sector
Undertakings of the Centre or State Government in the States (or the
districts) where elections have been announced or are taking place can
be given to the political functionaries who are provided security in Z
scale or above or equivalent by various State Government, on equitable
basis. This shall be subject to condition that such accommodation is not
already allotted or occupied by election related officials or observers. No
political activity will be carried out by any political functionary while
staying in such government guest houses/rest houses or guest houses of
Public Sector Undertakings.

22.2 Participation of Political Functionaries in Celebration of Important


Days
References have been made to the Election Commission whether Central Ministers/
Chief Ministers/Ministers can participate in celebration and do honours of days of
national importance like Republic Day, Gandhi Jayanti, Sadbhawana Diwas, State
Day, etc., falling during election period, the Election Commission has decided
that there is no objection to Central Ministers/Chief Ministers/Ministers in the
States participating in celebration and do the honours in the function at various
locations subject to the following conditions:-
(i) In their speeches, they should confine themselves to extolling the
achievements of the martyrs in securing freedom of the country,
glorification of the Indian State/or to there of the occasion and so on.
Under no circumstances, these functions should become platform for
political campaign.
(ii) No Central Minister/Minister or any other political functionary in the
State/Ex-MPs shall do the honours at any function at any location of
within their home district or constituency or from where he or she is a
contesting candidate or intends to contest. The Prime Minister/Chief

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Minister may however do so from the National Capital/State Capital as


per long standing conventions.
(iii) The celebration should carry no photograph of the minister/political
functionary.
(iv) The Election Commission has also no objection to organisation of
kavi sammelans, mushairas or other cultural functions organised in
connection with the Independence Day celebrations and being attended
by the Central Ministers/Chief Ministers/Ministers in the States and other
political functionaries. However, utmost care should be taken to ensure
that no political speeches highlighting the achievements of party in
power are made on such occasions.
(v) The Election Commission has further decided that investiture ceremonies
and such other functions at the national and state level and distribution
of Tamra Patras to freedom fighters, etc. will be done according to the
existing conventions.

22.3 Holding of Feast/Party on Religious Occasions During Elections:-


A reference was received in the Election Commission from the State of Bihar in
1998 seeking a clarification as to whether Iftar Party could be hosted by the then
Chief Minister for about 10,000 invitees, the expense for which would be made
from the State exchequer. It was informed that any entertainment at State cost
on a religious occasion specially during elections would not be correct though,
an individual is free by all means to host any such party in his personal capacity
and meeting the expense from his/her personal account.

22.4 Temporary Campaign Office


The Election Commission has issued following instructions on setting of
temporary campaign offices by political parties and candidates:
(i) No such office will be opened by way of any encroachment either of
public or private property.
(ii) No such office will be opened in any religious place or campus of such
religious place.
(iii) No such office will be opened contiguous to any educational institution/

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hospital.
(iv) No such office will be opened within 200 metres of an existing polling
station.
(v) Only one party flag and banner with party symbol/photographs can be
displayed at such office.
(vi) The size of banner used in such office should not exceed ‘4 feet X 8 feet’
subject to the further condition that if the local laws prescribe a smaller
size for banner/hoarding etc.; then the size prescribed by local law shall
prevail.
(vii) The Expenditure Observer should closely monitor to ensure that
expenditure on such office is properly booked in the account of candidate.

22.5 Use of Animals in Election Process


The Election Commission has advised the political parties and candidates, to
refrain from using any animal for election campaign in any manner. Even a party,
having reserved symbol depicting an animal should not make live demonstration
of that animal in any election campaign of the Party/any of its candidate.

22.6 Major Tenders and Auctions – Relating to Liquor Vendors/Tendu


Leaves etc.
22.6.1 In 1996, to avoid possibility of auctions/tenders relating to liquor
vendors/ tendu leaves etc., resulting in unfair advantage to the party
in power, the Election Commission directed that in all such cases
where major auctions etc. are to be held, should be put off till the last
date of completion of elections in the concerned areas and the State
Government should make interim arrangements where unavoidably
necessary.
22.6.2 During 2009 general elections, the Election Commission laid down the
following procedure in the matter of allotment of liquor vends, during
the period of operation of Model Code–
(i) Where the extant excise laws of a State empower the State Govt.
or the authorities thereunder to make an interim arrangement
beyond the current financial year, pending arrangement, such

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interim arrangement may be made with the concerned contractor/


vendors on the existing terms and conditions.
(ii) Where no such enabling provision is available in the existing
excise laws, the State Govt. may go ahead with the normal practice
followed in the previous years strictly in accordance with the
existing laws for grant of new licenses/contracts for the ensuing
financial year.

22.7 Applicability of Model Code on Matters relating to Defence Forces:-


In reply to a reference received from M/o Defence in March 2014, seeking
permission for procurement of edible oil and ration items for troops during
election period, the Election Commission clarified that Model Code is not
applicable to any matter pertaining directly to the defence forces, be it the
recruitments/promotions for defence forces, any service matters pertaining
to them, defence purchases of any kind, tenders relating to the matter of the
defence forces and therefore no reference in such matters need to be sent to the
Election Commission. (Annexure XXII)

22.8 Engagement of Child Labour in the Election Related Activities


The Election Commission, in the light of Judgment dated 15 July, 2013 passed
by the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi in W.P. (C) No. 9767 of 2009- Court on
Its Own Motion Vs. Government of NCT of Delhi and connected matters, has
advised political parties to take a note of provision of Juvenile Justice (Care and
Protection of Children) Act 2000 relating to children of the age of 14 to 18
years, and not to do anything in election campaign against the observation of
High Court of Delhi in aforesaid case.

22.9 Restriction on Use of Plastic during Electioneering


The Election Commission in the interest of environment, has advised the
political parties/candidates vide letter dated 16 March 2016 to avoid use of
plastic/polythene and similar non-biodegradable materials for preparation of
posters, banners etc., during election campaign.

**********

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CHAPTER 23
LANDMARK JUDGMENTS ON MODEL CODE

23.1 Introduction
The Election Commission has been mandated with constitutional responsibility
of holding elections by the Constitution. The Election Commission exercises the
powers in conformity with the statutes for purpose of fulfilling the responsibility
of conducting a free and fair election. The position of the Election Commission
has been strengthened by the judiciary, through several landmark judgments,
giving interpretations to the constitutional and legal provisions. These judgments
have been the guiding light for the Election Commission, electoral machinery
and all other stakeholders including the political parties. Some selected landmark
judgments on issues relating to Model Code of Conduct have been summarized
and put together in this chapter.

(1) Ghasi Ram vs Dal Singh & Others (1968) (Supreme Court)

(AIR 1191, 1968 SCR (3) 102)


Summary
Sh. Ghasi Ram, appellant challenged the election of Sh. Dal singh to the Haryana
Legislative Assembly at the election held on 19 February 1967 by an election
petition on the grounds, inter alia, that prior to his election, Sh. Dal Singh,
as Minister in the State Government had used certain discretionary funds to
bribe the voters. It was alleged that prior to the election he had visited several
villages in his constituency and made various discretionary grants to Gram
Panchayats, given funds for the construction of a sacred tank in one village, for
building public utility works, community centres and for repairs of Harijan well
in different villages. It was also alleged that he had used his position as Minister
to favour some of the villagers by providing certain irrigation facilities in some
villages with a view to securing support for his candidature.
The High Court dismissed the election petition.
On appeal, the Supreme Court held that the High Court had rightly dismissed
the petition. The law requires that a corrupt practice involving bribery must be
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“No voter to be left behind”

fully established. The evidence must show clearly that the promise or gift directly
or indirectly was made to an elector to vote or refrain from voting at an election.
The position of a Minister is difficult. it is obvious that he cannot cease to function
when his election is due. He must of necessity attend to the grievances, otherwise
he must fail. He must improve the image of his administration before the public.
If every one of his official acts done bona fide is to be construed against him and
an ulterior motive is spelled out of them, the administration must necessarily
come to a stand-still. In the present case, the money was not distributed among
the voters directly but was given to Panchayats and the public at large. It was to be
used for the good of those for and those against the candidate. No doubt this had
the effect of pushing forward the respondent’s claims but that was inevitable even
if no money was spent but good administration changed the people’s condition.
it could not therefore be held that there was any corrupt practice. If there was
good evidence that the Minister bargained directly or indirectly for votes, the
result might have been different, but there was no such evidence.
The Supreme Court further observed that “Although we have held in this case
that the action of the first respondent cannot be characterized as not innocent,
we are constrained to say that the attitude of Government is far from laudable.
Election is something which must be conducted fairly. To arrange to spend
money on the eve of elections in different constituencies although for general
public good, is when all is said and done an evil practice, even if it may not
be corrupt practice. The dividing line between an evil practice and a corrupt
practice is a very thin one. It should be understood that energy to do public good
should be used not on the eve’ of elections but much earlier and that even slight
evidence might change this evil practice into corrupt practice. Payments from
discretionary grants on the eve of elections should be avoided”.

(2) Union of India Vs Harbans Singh Jalal and Others

(Special Leave Petition (C) No. 22724 of 1997 (Supreme Court))


Summary
The Punjab and Haryana High Court, by judgment dated 27.05.1997 in C.W.P.
No. 270/1997 held that model code of conduct could be enforced from the date
of announcement of an election. The Union of India filed an SLP before the
Supreme Court against this judgment. As the SLP was pending, the issue was

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“No voter to be left behind”

settled vide O.M. dated 16.04.2001 of the Ministry of Law and Justice issued in
consultation with the Commission. In view of the O.M. dated 16.4.2001, the
SLP and connected matters were disposed of by the Supreme Court vide Order
dated 26.4.2001.
Copy of O.M. dated 16.4.2001 and summary of the observations made by the
Punjab and Haryana High Court in judgment dated 27.05.1997 in Harbans
Singh Jalal Vs. Union of India and others (C.W.P. No. 270/1997) is given
below:-
Copy of O.M. dated 16.4.2001
No. H. 11022/1/2001-Leg.11
Government of India
Ministyry of Law. Justice & Co. Affairs
(Legislative Department)
New Delhi, the 16th April, 2001.

OFFICE MEMORANDUM
Subject: SLP(C) No. 22724/97: Union of India Vs. Harbans Singh Jalal and others
– regarding Model Code of Conduct, pending for adjudication before the
Hon’ble Supreme Court of India.
* * * * * *

In continuation of this Department’s endorsement of even number dated 26.3.2001


on the subject mentioned above, the undersigned is directed to state that Election
Commission of India vide their letter No. 509/2001/JS-1/912 dated 11.4.2001 (copy
enclosed) has agreed to modify the existing formulation in the Model Code of Conduct
(1998) as under:
Paragraph VII(vi)(b) of the Model Code of Conduct would be substituted as
below:
“(b) (except civil servants) lay foundation stones, etc. of projects or schemes of
any kind; or
Further, after Clause (d) of sub-Para (vi) of Para VII, the following shall be
inserted:

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“Note:- The Commission shall announce the date of any election which shall
be a date ordinarily not more than three weeks prior to the date on which the
notification is likely to be issued in respect of such elections.”
2. in terms of the above settlement agreed to between the Union of India and the
Election Commission of India, further necessary steps to withdraw the aforesaid
SLP filed by the Union of India are required to be taken by filling a joint affidavit.
The Central Agency Section’s File No. 2263/97-CAS refers.
3. Accordingly, it is requested that the matter may be placed before the learned
Attorney General. The SLP is already listed for hearing and likely to come up
today. In case any other material/information is required in this regard, the
undersigned may be contacted.
Sd/-
(N.L.Meena)
Joint Secretary and Legislative Council
To,

The Department of Legal Affairs,


(Attn.: Shri R. N. Poddar, JS&LA, In-Charge),
Central Agency Section)
Lawyer’s Chamber No. 63,
Supreme Court Compound,
New Delhi-01.
Copy to:
The Secretary (Attn.: Shri K.J. Rao), the Election Commission of India, Nirvachan
Sadan, New Delhi for information with reference to their letter dated 11.4.2001 cited
above.

Sd/-
(Surender Kumar)
Under Secretary to the Govt. of India

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Summary of Harbans Singh Jalal Vs. Union of India and others- Punjab & Haryana
High Court
(Civil Writ Side Civil Writ Petition No. 270 of 1997)

The Election Commission announced the programme for the general election
to the Punjab Legislative Assembly on 30 December, 1996. Simultaneously,
the Commission informed the State Government and all other authorities
concerned that Model Code of Conduct would come into effect from the date of
announcement of the election schedule by the Commission (i.e. on 30 December,
1996). Prior to the announcement of the election schedule by the Election
Commission, the political party in power in the State, namely, Indian National
Congress, had announced certain welfare measures and schemes at a State level
conference on 22 December, 1996. These welfare measures and schemes were to
be implemented with effect from 1 January, 1997. Enforcement of Model Code
of Conduct from 30 December, 1996 affected the implementation by the State
Government of the said welfare schemes from 1st January, 1997. A writ petition
was filed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court contending , inter alia, that
Model Code of Conduct could be brought into force only from the date of actual
notification of the election by the Governor of the State and not from the date
of announcement of the election schedule by the Election Commission and that
the Election Commission could not control the activities of the Government
during the period between the announcement of the election schedule and the
notification of the election by the Governor.
The High Court dismissed the writ petition, holding that the Election
Commission is entitled to take necessary steps for the conduct of a free and
fair election, even anterior to the date of issuance of notification of election
by the Governor, and from the date of announcement of the election by the
Election Commission. While doing so, Model Code of Conduct adopted to be
followed by all political parties, can be directed by the Election Commission to
be followed from the date of announcement of election schedule by it.
The High Court recorded that “it is evident that activities on the eve of election
should also be for the conduct of a free and fair election. “Eve of election” can
only be the period prior to the date of notification of election. By the date of
notification, the process of election starts. It is not with reference to the date
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after process of commencement of election, their lordships referred to the period


‘on the eve of election’. So, according to us, during the eve of election also, the
Election Commission should ensure that nothing which tends to interfere with
the conduct of free and fair election, takes place. Viewed in this light, we are
of the considered view that Election Commission should take necessary steps
for conduct of free and fair election even before the date of the issue of the
notification.
Petitioner has no case that Election Commission acted against any statutory
provision. Their action in directing the Government to follow model code of
conduct did not amount to issuing direction to act against any provision of
law. When it is seen that the Election Commission has been entrusted with
the responsibility to have a free and fair election which should be pure, and
the source of their power is Article 324 of the Constitution, we are clear in our
mind that the action taken by them in issuing Annexure p-5 is not at all illegal
or arbitrary.
The existence of political parties and their participation in election cannot
be denied by any one. In the present democratic system prevailing in India,
political parties play a vital role in the administration of the country. Leaders
of the political parties, in their wisdom, evolved a model code of conduct, to be
followed by them in election. That was so framed by them under the auspices
of the Election Commission. That code does not contain any provision contrary
or derogatory to any enactment. Such a code of conduct when it is seen that it
does not violate any of the statutory provisions, can certainly be adopted by the
Election Commission for the conduct of free and fair election which should be
pure as well.
On the eve of election, political parties or candidates may come forward with
tempting offers to the electorate to win their favour. If such a course is allowed
to be resorted to by the parties or the candidates contesting the elections, it
will certainly undermine the purity of elections. In such a situation, if Election
Commission took steps to implement the code of conduct which in no way
infringes any of the laws, this Court, in exercise of the powers under Article 226
of the Constitution, is not to interfere.
Election Commission has not taken any step to prevent activities of the party
which is in power during the period prior to the date of announcement of the

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election. Knowing the situation, Election Commission announced the election


more than three weeks prior to the issuance of the notification under section
15 of the Act. This period of three weeks is to apprise the political parties of
the ensuing elections, for enabling them to prepare for the election. The said
period intervening between the date of announcement and date of notification,
is not at all unreasonable. During the short period preceding the notification, the
Election Commission compels the political parties, the party in power and the
candidates to behave in a manner which will not undermine conduct of free and
fair election.
On the basis of the observations made by the Supreme Court regarding
payments from the discretionary grants at the disposal of the Ministers on the
eve of election, Election Commission suggested law to be passed on the issue.
Government of India, after considering that suggestion, took a decision that
instead of making provisions in the rules regulating the disbursements from
the discretionary grants, a convention should be adopted that for a period of
three months immediately prior to the polling no expenditure should ordinarily
be incurred from the Ministers’ discretionary grants. So also, the Government
of India in their communication dated October 28, 1969, took the view that
instead of making any specific provision in the rules regulating disbursement
from discretionary grants, a convention should be evolved that for a period of
three months immediately prior to the polling, no expenditure should ordinarily
be incurred from a Minister’s discretionary grant. These decisions taken by the
Government show that Government was inclined to have conventions on these
matters and not to have statutory provisions. In such a situation, the action on
the part of the Election Commission in directing Governments to follow the
model code of conduct adopted by the various national parties appears to be
quite legal and proper.
Election Commission has categorically stated that they have not interfered with
the day to day decisions of the State Government. They only wanted officers
connected with election to be retained as their respective places. They also wanted
to ensure the conduct of free and fair election without interference by officers
as well. If permanent executives of the State took into their heads that some
of the actions which the political executive wanted to implement, as violative
of directions given by the Election Commission, the Election Commission
cannot be faulted. No direction of the Election Commission having the effect of

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interfering with the day to day decisions of the Government, has been brought
to our notice either. In such a situation, we are not in a position to find any
illegality in the action resorted to by the Election Commission.
The High Court further held that “In view of what has been stated above, we are
clear in our mind that the Election Commission are entitled to take necessary
steps for the conduct of a free and fair election even anterior to the date of
issuance of notification, from the date of announcement of the election. While
doing so, the model code of conduct adopted to be followed by all political parties
including the political party in Government, can be directed to be followed by
the Election Commission. Action of the Commission in this regard cannot be
faulted, for the said model code of conduct adopted by the political parties does
not go against any of the statutory provisions. It only ensures the conduct of a
free any fair election which should be pure.
Writ petition fails. It is accordingly dismissed”.

(3) Election Commission of India Petitioner(s) Vs. Rajaji Mathew


Thomas & Ors. (Supreme Court)
(Special Leave to Appeal (Civil) No(s).8891/2011)
Summary
General elections to the Kerala State Legislative Assembly were announced by
the Election Commission on 1st March, 2011. Prior to the announcement of
elections, on 25 February, 2011, the State Government issued an Order granting
administrative sanction to a scheme to extend the existing scheme of providing
food grain at the rate of Rs.2/- per kilogram to certain categories of people in
the State, namely, the ration-card holders categorized as BPL/AAY, the families
of fishermen, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Ashraya Scheme and the
workers of forty-one unorganized/traditional sectors including those who have
worked under the National Employment Guarantee Scheme for at least 50 days,
to all the ration-card holders in the State, subject to certain conditions. Pursuant
to issuance of the aforesaid Order dated 25 February, 2011, certain complaints
were received by the Election Commission of India and the Chief Electoral
Officer from various quarters, including a sitting Member of Parliament,
two members of the Legislative Assembly, one of whom is the former Chief
Minister of Kerala, and others. The District Collectors of Kollam and Kannur,

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also sought certain clarifications from the respondents Nos.1 and 2 regarding
implementation of the scheme for distribution of rice at Rs.2/- per kilogram
in terms of the Government’s decision dated 25 February 2011. The matter
was thereupon forwarded by the Government to the Election Commission for
obtaining its permission for implementing the scheme. In reply thereto, on 7
March, 2011, the Chief Electoral Officer, Kerela observed as follows:
“Extension of the scheme to new beneficiaries as per
G.O. NO.11/2011/F&CS, dated 25 February, 2011,
may be deferred till the election process is over.”
The aforesaid view of the Chief Electoral Officer
was ratified by the Election Commission by its letter
dated 11 March, 2011”.
Aggrieved thereby, the respondent, filed Writ Petition No.8178(S) of 2011, in
the Kerala High Court, which was disposed of by the Division Bench of the
High Court by its judgment and order dated 21 March, 2011, holding that the
impugned direction of the Election Commission and the Chief Electoral Officer
to defer the implementation of the decision taken by the State Government on
25 February, 2011, to extend the benefits of the scheme, which was already in
existence in relation to 4 others, as wholly arbitrary and unconnected with the
purpose sought to be achieved for securing a level playing field to all the political
parties contesting the elections. The aforesaid order of the Kerala High Court
was challenged by the Election Commission.
On behalf of the Election Commission, it was submitted that the Election
Commission had no objection to the continuance of the scheme which was in
operation prior to 25 February, 2011. However, as far as extending the benefits
to new sections of the populace of the State are concerned, the same would
amount to disturbing the level playing field for all political parties in the election
process. It was submitted that the action taken by the Election Commission in
requesting the State Government to defer the proposed extension of the scheme
to new sections of the people, was neither arbitrary nor meant to prevent any
benefit being given to such sections of the people, except during the period of
election.
The State Government submitted that since the decision to extend the scheme to
new sections of the people was taken prior to the announcement of the elections

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in Kerala, it could not be said that the same had been hit by Model Code, which
was promulgated subsequently.
The Supreme Court maintained that what was intended by Model Code was that
no action should be taken by a party in power in close proximity to the date on
which the elections are announced so as to derive any benefit therefrom during
the elections or to disturb the level playing field for all political parties involved
in the electoral process. Furthermore, although, the administrative sanction to
the proposed extension of the scheme to the new sections of the population was
given on 25 February, 2011, prior to the announcement of the elections, its
implementation could not have been possible prior to the announcement of the
elections on account of the various procedures involved in giving effect to the
same. In fact, the said position would be clear from the reference made by the
State Government to the Election Commission seeking permission to implement
the scheme and was also corroborated by the learned counsel appearing for the
State admitting that the scheme, as extended, had been implemented only after
the impugned judgment of the High Court.
Accordingly, the Supreme Court issued notice on the Special Leave Petition and
directed to stay the judgment of the High Court.

(4) S. Subramaniam Balaji Vs The Government of Tamil Nadu & Ors.


(Supreme Court)
(CIVIL APPEAL NO. 5130 OF 2013
(Arising out of SLP (C) No. 21455 of 2008))
Summary
On the eve of general elections in the State of Tamil Nadu in 2006 and 2011,
certain civil society organisations and private individuals approached the Madras
High Court questioning the promises of certain gift items in the manifestos of
the prominent political parties in the state, which the petitioners considered as
‘freebies’. The Madras High Court (Madurai Bench) dismissed on 25 June 2007
the writ petition (No. 9013of 2006-S. Subramaniam Balaji v The Government of
Tamil Nadu & Ors) filed in the context of the 2006 general election. The matter
was taken by the petitioner to the Supreme Court in 2008, and he also got his
writ petition filed in the context of 2011 general election and which was pending
before the High Court, transferred to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court,

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while disposing of the above matters, by its order dated 5 July 2013, summarized
its findings, conclusions and directions as under:
(i) After examining and considering the parameters laid in Section 123 of
RP Act, we arrived at a conclusion that the promises in the election
manifesto cannot be read into Section 123 for declaring it to be a corrupt
practice. Thus, promises in the election manifesto do not constitute as
a corrupt practice under the prevailing law. A reference to a decision of
this court will be timely. In Prof. Ramchandra G. Kapse vs. Haribansh
Ramakbal Singh (1996) 1 SCC 206 this Court held that “..Ex facie
contents of a manifesto, by itself, cannot be a corrupt practice committed
by a candidate of that party.
(ii) Further, it has been decided that the schemes challenged in this writ
petition fall within the realm of fulfilling the Directive Principles of
State Policy thereby falling within the scope of public purpose.
(iii) The mandate of the Constitution provides various checks and balances
before a Scheme can be implemented. Therefore, as long as the schemes
come within the realm of public purpose and monies withdrawn for the
implementation of schemes by passing suitable Appropriation Bill, the
court has limited jurisdiction to interfere in such schemes.
(iv) We have also emphasized on the fact that judicial interference is
permissible only when the action of the government is unconstitutional
or contrary to a statutory provision and not when such action is not wise
or that the extent of expenditure is not for the good of the State.
(v) It is also asserted that the schemes challenged under this petition are in
consonance with Article 14 of the Constitution.
(vi) As there is no legislative vacuum in the case on hand, the scope for
application of Vishaka principle does not arise.
(vii) The duty of the CAG will arise only after the expenditure has incurred.
(viii) Since this petition is fit for dismissal de hors the jurisdiction issue, the
issue of jurisdiction is left option.
2. Directions:
(i) Although the law is obvious that the promise in the election manifesto
cannot be construed as ‘corrupt practice’ under Section 123 of RP Act,

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the reality cannot be ruled out that distribution of freebies of any kind,
undoubtedly, influences all people. It shakes the root of free and fair
elections to a large degree. The Election Commission through its counsel
also conveyed the same feeling both in the affidavit and in the argument
that the promise of such freebies at government cost disturbs the level
playing field and vitiates the electoral process and thereby expressed
willingness to implement any directions or decision of this Court in this
regard.
(ii) As observed in the earlier part of the judgment, this Court has limited
power to issue directions to the legislature to legislate on a particular issue.
However, the Election Commission, in order to ensure level playing field
between the contesting parties and candidates in elections and also in
order to see that the purity of the election process does not get vitiated,
as in past been issuing instruction under the Model Code of Conduct.
The fountainhead of the powers under which the Election Commission
issues these orders is Article 324 of the Constitution, which mandates
the Election Commission to hold free and fair elections. It is equally
imperative to acknowledge that the Election Commission cannot issue
such orders if the subject matter of the order of Election Commission is
covered by a legislative measure.
(iii) Therefore, considering that there is no enactment that directly governs
the contents of the election manifesto, we hereby direct the Election
Commission to frame guidelines for the same in consultation with all the
recognized political parties as when it had acted while framing guidelines
for general conduct of the candidates, meetings, processions, polling
day, party in power etc. In the similar way, a separate head for guidelines
for election manifesto released by a political party can also be included
in the Model Code of Conduct for the Guidance of Political Parties &
Candidates. We are mindful of the fact that generally political parties
release their election manifesto before the announcement of election
date, in that scenario, strictly speaking, the Election Commission will
not have the authority to regulate any act which is done before the
announcement of the date. Nevertheless, an exception can be made in
this regard as the purpose of election manifesto is directly associated
with the election process.

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(iv) We hereby direct the Election Commission to take up this task as early
as possible owing to its utmost importance. We also record the need for
a separate legislation to be passed by the legislature in this regard for
governing the political parties in our democratic society.
**********

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ANNEXURES

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ANNEXURE- I
(CHAPTER – 2 STATUS AND SCOPE OF MODEL CODE)

MODEL CODE OF CONDUCT FOR THE GUIDANCE


OF POLITICAL PARTIES AND CANDIDATES

I. General Conduct
(1) No party or candidate shall include in any activity which may aggravate existing
differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes and
communities, religious or linguistic.
(2) Criticism of other political parties, when made, shall be confined to their policies
and programme, past record and work. Parties and Candidates shall refrain from
criticism of all aspects of private life, not connected with the public activities of
the leaders or workers of other parties. Criticism of other parties or their workers
based on unverified allegations or distortion shall be avoided.
(3) There shall be no appeal to caste or communal feelings for securing votes.
Mosques, Churches, Temples or other places of worship shall not be used as
forum for election propaganda.
(4) All parties and candidates shall avoid scrupulously all activities which are
“corrupt practices” and offences under the election law, such as bribing of voters,
intimidation of voters, impersonation of voters, canvassing within 100 meters of
polling stations, holding public meetings during the period of 48 hours ending
with the hour fixed for the close of the poll, and the transport and conveyance of
voters to and from polling station.
(5) The right of every individual for peaceful and undisturbed home-life shall
be respected, however much the political parties or candidates may resent his
political opinions or activities. Organising demonstrations or picketing before
the houses of individuals by way of protesting against their opinions or activities
shall not be resorted to under any circumstances.
(6) No political party or candidate shall permit its or his followers to make use of -
3 - any individual’s land, building, compound wall etc., without his permission

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for erecting flag-staffs, suspending banners, pasting notices, writing slogans etc.
(7) Political parties and candidates shall ensure that their supporters do not create
obstructions in or break up meetings and processions organised by other parties.
Workers or sympathisers of one political party shall not create disturbances at
public meetings organised by another political party by putting questions orally
or in writing or by distributing leaflets of their own party. Processions shall not
be taken out by one party along places at which meetings are held by another
party. Posters issued by one party shall not be removed by workers of another
party.

II. Meetings
(1) The party or candidate shall inform the local police authorities of the venue and
time any proposed meeting Well in time so as to enable the police to make
necessary arrangements for controlling traffic and maintaining peace and order.
(2) A Party or candidate shall ascertain in advance if there is any restrictive or
prohibitory order in force in the place proposed for the meeting if such orders
exist, they shall be followed strictly. If any exemption is required from such
orders, it shall be applied for and obtained well in time.
(3) If permission or license is to be obtained for the use of loudspeakers or any other
facility in connection with any proposed meeting, the party or candidate shall
apply to the authority concerned well in advance and obtain such permission or
license.
(4) Organisers of a meeting shall invariably seek the assistance of the police on duty
for dealing with persons disturbing a meeting or otherwise attempting to create
disorder. Organisers themselves shall not take action against such persons.

III. Procession
(1) A Party or candidate organizing a procession shall decide before hand the time
and place of the starting of the procession, the route to be followed and the time
and place at which the procession will terminate. There shall ordinary be on
deviation from the programme.
(2) The organisers shall give advance intimation to the local police authorities of the
programme so as to enable the letter to make necessary arrangement.

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(3) The organisers shall ascertain if any restrictive orders are in force in the localities
through which the procession has to pass, and shall comply with the restrictions
unless exempted specially by the competent authority. Any traffic regulations or
restrictions shall also be carefully adhered to.
(4) The organisers shall take steps in advance to arrange for passage of the procession
so that there is no block or hindrance to traffic. If the procession is very long, it
shall be organised in segments of suitable lengths, so that at convenient intervals,
especially at points where the procession has to pass road junctions, the passage of
held up traffic could be allowed by stages thus avoiding heavy traffic congestion.
(5) Processions shall be so regulated as to keep as much to the right of the road
as possible and the direction and advice of the police on duty shall be strictly
complied with.
6) If two or more political parties or candidates propose to take processions over the
same route or parts thereof at about the same time, the organisers shall establish
contact well in advance and decide upon the measures to be taken to see that
the processions do not clash or cause hindrance to traffic. The assistance of the
local police shall be availed of for arriving at a satisfactory arrangement. For this
purpose the parties shall contact the police at the earliest opportunity.
(7) The political parties or candidates shall exercise control to the maximum extent
possible in the matter of processionists carrying articles which may be put to
misuse by undesirable elements especially in moments of excitement.
(8) The carrying of effigies purporting to represent member of other political
parties or their leaders, burning such effigies in public and such other forms
demonstration shall not be countenanced by any political party or candidate.

IV. Polling Day


All Political parties and candidates shall –
(i) co-operate with the officers on election duty to ensure peaceful and orderly
polling and complete freedom to the voters to exercise their franchise without
being subjected to any annoyance or obstruction.
(ii) supply to their authorized workers suitable badges or identity cards.
(iii) agree that the identity slip supplied by them to voters hall be on plain (white)

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paper and shall not contain any symbol, name of the candidate or the name of
the party;
(iv) refrain from serving or distributing liquor on polling day and during the forty
eight hours preceding it.
(v) not allow unnecessary crowd to be collected near the camps set up by the political
parties and candidates near the polling booths so as to avoid Confrontation and
tension among workers and sympathizers of the parties and the candidate.
(vi) ensure that the candidate’s camps shall be simple .The shall not display any
posters, flags, symbols or any other propaganda material. No eatable shall be
served or crowd allowed at the camps and
(vii) co-operate with the authorities in complying with the restrictions to be imposed
on the plying of vehicles on the polling day and obtain permits for them which
should be displayed prominently on those vehicles.

V. Polling Booth
Excepting the voters, no one without a valid pass from the Election Commission
shall enter the polling booths.

VI. Observers
The Election Commission is appointing Observers. If the candidates or their
agents have any specific complaint or problem regarding the conduct of elections
they may bring the same to the notice of the Observer.

VII. Party in Power


The party in power whether at the Centre or in the State or States concerned,
shall ensure that no cause is given for any complaint that it has used its official
position for the purposes of its election campaign and in particular –
(i) (a) The Ministers shall not combine their official visit with electioneering
work and shall not also make use of official machinery or personnel during the
electioneering work.
(b) Government transport including official air-crafts, vehicles, machinery and
personnel shall not be used for furtherance of the interest of the party in power;

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(ii) Public places such as maidens etc., for holding election meetings, and use of
helipads for air-flights in connection with elections shall not be monopolized by
itself. Other parties and candidates shall be allowed the use of such places and
facilities on the same terms and conditions on which they are used by the party
in power;
(iii) Rest houses, dark bungalows or other Government accommodation shall not be
monopolized by the party in power or its candidates and such accommodation
shall be allowed to be used by other parties and candidates in a fair manner
but no party or candidate shall use or be allowed to use such accommodation
(including premises appertaining thereto) as a campaign office or for holding any
public meeting for the purposes of election propaganda;
(iv) Issue of advertisement at the cost of public exchequer in the newspapers and
other media and the misuse of official mass media during the election period for
partisan coverage of political news and publicity regarding achievements with
a view to furthering the prospects of the party in power shall be scrupulously
avoided.
(v) Ministers and other authorities shall not sanction grants/payments out of
discretionary funds from the time elections are announced by the Commission;
and
(vi) From the time elections are announced by Commission, Ministers and other
authorities shall not –
(a) announce any financial grants in any form or promises thereof; or
(b) (except civil servants) lay foundation stones etc. of projects or schemes of
any kind; or
(c) make any promise of construction of roads, provision of drinking water
facilities etc.; or
(d) make any ad-hoc appointments in Government, Public Undertakings etc.
which may have the effect of influencing the voters in favor of the party in
power.
Note : The Commission shall announce the date of any election which shall
be a date ordinarily not more than three weeks prior to the date on which the
notification is likely to be issued in respect of such elections.

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(vii) Ministers of Central or State Government shall not enter any polling station or
place of counting except in their capacity as a candidate or voter or authorized
agent.

VIII. Guidelines on Election Manifesto


1. The Supreme Court in its judgment dated 5th July 2013 in SLP(C) No. 21455
of 2008 (S. Subramanian Balaji Vs Govt. of Tamil Nadu and others) has directed
the Election Commission to frame guidelines with regard to the contents of
election manifesto in consultation with all the recognized political parties. The
guiding principles which will lead to framing of such guidelines are quoted below
from judgment:-
(i) “Although, the law is obvious that the promises in the election manifesto
cannot be construed as ‘corrupt practice’ under Section 123 of RP Act,
the reality cannot be ruled out that distribution of freebies on any kind,
undoubtedly, influences all people. It shakes the root of free and fair
elections to a large degree”.
(ii) “The Election Commission, in order to ensure level playing field between
the contesting parties and candidates in elections and also in order to see
that the party of the election process does not get vitiated, as in past been
issuing instructions under the Model Code of Conduct. The fountainhead
of the powers under which the Commission issues these orders is Article
324 of the Constitution which mandates the Commission to hold free and
fair elections.”
(iii) “We are mindful of the fact that generally political parties release their
election manifesto before the announcement of election date, in that
scenario, strictly speaking, the Election Commission will not have the
authority to regulate any act which is done before the announcement
of the date. Nevertheless, an exception can be made in this regard as
the purpose of election manifesto is directly associated with the election
process”.
2. Upon receiving the above direction of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, the Election
Commission held a meeting with the recognized National and State Political
Parties for consultation with them in the matter and took note of their conflicting
views in the matter. During consultations, while upon some political parties
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supported the issuance of such guidelines, others were of the view that it is their
right and duty towards voters to make such offers and promises in manifesto in
a healthy democratic polity. While the Commission agrees in principle with the
point of view that framing of manifestos is the right of the political parties, it
cannot overlook the undesirable impact of some of the promises and offers on
the conduct of free and fair elections and maintaining level playing field for all
political parties and candidates.
3. The Constitution under Article 324 mandates the Election Commission, to
conduct elections inter alia to the Parliament and the State Legislatures. Having
due regard to the above direction of the Supreme Court and after consultation
with the Political Parties, the Commission, in the interest of free and fair
elections, hereby directs that Political parties and candidates while releasing
election manifesto for any election to the Parliament or State Legislatures, shall
adhere to the guidelines :-
(i) The election manifesto shall not contain anything repugnant to the ideals
and principles enshrined in the Constitution and further that it shall be
consistent with the letter and spirit of other provisions of Model Code of
Conduct.
(ii) The Directive Principles of State Policy enshrined in the Constitution
enjoin upon the State to frame various welfare measures for the citizens
and therefore there can be no objection to the promise of such welfare in
election manifesto. However, political parties should avoid making those
promises which are likely to vitiate the purity of the election process or
exert undue influence on the voters in exercising their franchise.
(iii) In the interest of transparency, level playing field and credibility of
promises, it is expected that manifesto also reflect the rationale for the
promises and broadly indicate the ways and means to meet the financial
requirement for it. Trust of voters should be sought only on those
promises which are possible to be fulfilled.

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ANNEXURE- II
(CHAPTER – 3 ENFORCEMENT OF MODEL CODE)

ECI letter No. 437/6/INST/2008-CC&BE dated: 19th March, 2009 addressed to the
Cabinet Secretary, Govt. of India, Chief Secretaries and Chief Electoral Officers of all
States and UTs.

Sub: Applicability of Model Code of Conduct to Commissions, Corporations,


Committees, etc

I am directed to state that the Commission has decided to clarify that the provisions
of Model Code of Conduct apply to all organizations/committees, corporations/
commissions etc, funded wholly or partially by the Central Govt. or any State Govt.
like the Commonwealth Games Organizing Committee, DDA, Electricity Regulatory
Commissions, Jal Boards, Transport Corporations, any other development authority etc.
Any action in contravention of the provisions contained in the Model Code of Conduct
for the political parties and candidates including any publication of its advertisements
by them highlighting their achievements or announcing new subsidies, tariffs or schemes
would attract the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct and tantamount to violation
of the same.

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ANNEXURE- III
(CHAPTER – 3 ENFORCEMENT OF MODEL CODE)

ECI letter No. 437/6/INST/2014-CC&BE, dated 26.04.2014 addressed to the Chief


Electoral Officers of all States and UTs.
Subject: Election related campaign activities undertaken by persons other than
political parties and candidates-reg.
Complaints are being received by the Commission from various quarters that some social,
cultural or religious organizations, associations, formations etc., are making appeals to
electors amounting to election campaign in favour of, or against, certain political parties
or candidates, by holding congregations, yoga shivers, conclaves, meetings, processions,
etc. These complaints also point out that some of these organizations/associations, in
their campaign, are also invoking religion and are playing on the religious sentiments of
electors to whom such appeals are addressed.
2. The Commission, having considered the matter, hereby lays down the following
guidelines to be observed in the matter of such campaigns by organizations and
persons other than political parties/candidates, during the period when Model
Code of Conduct is in operation in connection with an election:
(i) They should not invoke, in any manner, religion or religious grounds in
any manner, or any activities likely to create disharmony among different
classes or groups of people, in their campaign. Such activities/ statements are
prohibited being offences under various provisions of the law, like, section
125 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 sections 153A, 153B,
l7lC, 295A, 505(2) of the Indian Penal Code and Religious Institutions
(Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1988.
(ii) They should not indulge in any activities or make any statements that
would amount to attack on personal life of any person or statements that
may be malicious or offending decency and morality.
(iii) when persons and organizations seek permission to hold public programmes,
they should be asked to give a declaration/undertaking to abide by the above
guidelines.
(i) The public programmes of such persons and organizations should be
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closely monitored through videography. If anyone indulges in violation


of the above guidelines’ the state and district authorities concerned
with the maintenance of proper law and order should take appropriate
remedial and penal actions expeditiously in all such cases. Further, the
District Administration shall ensure that such persons who violated
the undertaking are not granted any permission to hold any further
programmes during the period of that election.
(ii) If the programmes involve incurring expense and amounts to directly
promoting the electoral prospects of any particular candidate or
candidates, prior special authority from the candidate concerned for
incurring the expense shall be obtained in writing, as required under
Section l7lH of the IPC, and such authorization should be submitted
to the District Election officer within 48 hours. Any violation should
result in action for prosecuting the person concerned.
3. These guidelines may be brought to the notice of all election related authorities
in the State/UT for strict compliance. This may also be given wide publicity for
information of all concerned.

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ANNEXURE- IV
(CHAPTER – 4 SPECIAL MEASURES TAKEN BY THE ELECTION COMMISSION TO
ENFORCE MODEL CODE)

ECI letter No. 437/6/2017(Policy) dated. 10th January, 2017 addressed to president/
secretary/General secretary, all recognized National and State political Parties. Copy
endorsed to CEOs of all state/UTs
Subject- General Election to Legislative Assemblies 2017 – MCC – reg.
As you are kindly aware the MCC and various provisions of IPC, inter alia,
provide that political parties and their leaders should desist from making statements
to the effect of creating disharmony between different sections of society on the basis
of religion as the same disturb peace and tranquilly of the society which is absolutely
essential for free and peaceful conduct of elections. Even the Hon’ble Apex Court of the
country has expressed its deep concerns in the matter vide its judgment and order dated
02.01.2017 in Civil Appeal No. 37 of 1992 (Abhiram Singh Vs C.D.Commachen) and
with Civil Appeal no. 8339 of 1995.
The Commission will not remain a silent spectator if the provisions of law or
MCC are violated and no one can do it with impunity. The Commission will take stern
action for any violation under all powers available.

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ANNEXURE- V
(CHAPTER – 4 SPECIAL MEASURES TAKEN BY THE ELECTION COMMISSION TO
ENFORCE MODEL CODE)

Election Commission’s letter No. 464/INST/2007-PLN-I Dated: 07.01.07addressed to


The Chief Secretaries and the Chief Electoral Officers of all States and Union Territories.
Subject: CODE OF CONDUCT – DOs & DONT’s
The Commission has issued various instructions on observance of code of
conduct from time to time. Important aspects of the code of conduct are reiterated
below:

On Welfare schemes and governmental works:


1. Announcement of new projects or programme or concessions or financial grants
in any form or promises thereof or laying of foundation stones, etc., which have
the effect of influencing the voters in favour of the party in power is prohibited.
2. These restrictions apply equally to new schemes and also ongoing schemes. But
it does not mean that in the case of national, regional and State utility schemes,
which have already been brought up to the stage of completion, their utilization
or functioning in public interest should be stopped or delayed. The coming
into force of the Model Code of Conduct cannot be given as an excuse for
not commissioning such schemes or allowing them to remain idle. At the same
time, it should be ensured that the commissioning of such schemes is done by
civil authority and without associating political functionaries and without any
fanfare or ceremonies whatever, so that no impression is given or created that
such commissioning has been done with a view to influencing the electorate in
favour of the ruling party. If in doubt, a clarification should be obtained from
Chief Electoral Officer/Election Commission of India.
3. It is further clarified that simply because a budget provision has been made for
any particular scheme or the scheme has been sanctioned earlier or a reference to
the scheme was made in the address of the Governor or the budget speech of the
Minister it does not automatically mean that such schemes can be announced
or inaugurated or otherwise taken up after the announcement of elections while
the Model Code of conduct is in operation, since they will clearly be intended to

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influence the voters. Such actions if undertaken will be considered a violation of


the model code of conduct.
4. No fresh sanctions for governmental schemes should be made. Review by political
executive (Ministers etc.) and processing of beneficiary oriented schemes, even if
ongoing, should be stopped till completion of elections. No fresh release of funds
on welfare schemes and works should be made or contract for works awarded in
any part of the state where election is in progress without prior permission of the
Commission. This includes works under the Member of Parliament (including
Rajya Sabha members) Local Area Development fund or MLAs / MLCs Local
Area Development Fund, if any such scheme is in operation in the state.
5. No work shall start in respect of which even if work orders have been issued
before the model code came into effect, if the work has actually not started in
the field. These works can start only after the completion of election process.
However, if a work has actually started, that can continue.
6. There shall be no bar to the release of payments for completed work(s) subject to
the full satisfaction of the concerned officials.
7. Commission does not refuse approval for schemes undertaken for tackling
emergencies or unforeseen calamities like providing relief to people suffering from
drought, floods, pestilences, other natural calamities or welfare measures for the
aged, infirm etc. In these matters, however, prior approval of the Commission
should be taken and all ostentatious functions should be strictly avoided and no
impression should be given or allowed to be created that such welfare measures
or relief and rehabilitation works are being undertaken by the Government in
office so as to influence the electors in favour of the party in power which at the
same time will adversely affect the prospects of the other parties.

On Transfers and posting of officials:


The Commission directs that there shall be a total ban on the transfer of all officers/
officials connected with the conduct of the election. These include but are not restricted
to: -
(i) The Chief Electoral Officer and Additional/Joint/Deputy Chief Electoral
Officers;
(ii) Divisional Commissioners;

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(iii) The District Election Officers, Returning Officers, Assistant Returning Officers
and other Revenue Officers connected with the Conduct of Elections;
(iv) Officers of the Police Department connected with the management of elections
like range IGs and DIGs, Senior Superintendents of Police and Superintendents
of Police, Sub-divisional level Police Officers like Deputy Superintendents of
Police and other Police officers who are deputed to the Commission under
section 28A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951;
(v) Other officers drafted for election works like sector and zonal officers, Transport
cell, EVM cell, Poll material procurement & distribution cell, Training cell,
Printing Cell etc. Senior officers, who have a role in the management of election
in the State, are also covered by this direction.
(vi) The transfer orders issued in respect of the above categories of officers prior
to the date of announcement but not implemented till the time when model
code came into effect should not be given effect to without obtaining specific
permission from the Commission.
(vii) This ban shall be effective till the completion of the election process.
(viii) In those cases where transfer of an officer is considered necessary on account
of administrative exigencies, the State Government may, with full justification,
approach the Commission for prior clearance.
(ix) No appointments or promotions in Government / Public Undertakings shall be
made during this period, without prior clearance of the Commission.

On Misuse of Official Machinery:


1. Official vehicles cannot be used for electioneering work. ‘Official Vehicles’
include all vehicles belonging to
o Central and State Government,
o Public Undertakings of the Central and State Government,
o Joint Sector Undertakings of Central and State Government,
o Local Bodies, Municipal Corporations, Municipalities,
o Marketing Boards (by whatever name known),
o Cooperative Societies,
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o Autonomous District Councils, or


o Any other body in which public funds, howsoever small a portion of the
total, are invested, and also
o Vehicles belonging to the Ministry of Defence and the Central Police
Organizations under the Ministry of Home Affairs and State Governments.
2. It is open for a minister of the Union or State to make private visits using his
or her private vehicle(s). For such private visits, the official personal staff of the
ministers shall not accompany them. However, if a Minister is traveling in some
emergent situation, out of his HQ on purely official business, which cannot be
avoided in public interest, then a letter certifying to this effect should be sent
from the Secretary concerned of the Department to the Chief Secretary of the
state where the Minister intends to visit, with a copy to the Commission. During
such tour, the Chief Secretary may provide the Minister with Government vehicle
and accommodation and other usual courtesies for his official trip. However,
immediately preceding or during or in continuation of such an official tour, no
minister can carry out or combine any election campaign or political activity.
The Commission will keep watch on such arrangements in due consultation
with its Chief Electoral Officer.
3. No Minister, whether of union or state, will summon any election related officer
of the constituency or the State, for any official discussions during the period of
elections commencing with the announcement of the elections. Only exception
will be when a Minister, in his capacity as in charge of the department concerned,
or a Chief Minister undertakes an official visit to a constituency, in connection
with failure of law and order or a natural calamity or any such emergency which
requires personal presence of such Ministers/Chief Ministers for the specific
purpose of supervising review/salvage/relief and such like purpose.
4. Ministers are entitled to use their official vehicles only for commuting from their
official residence to their office for official work provided that such commuting
is not combined with any electioneering or any political activity.
5. Ministers, whether of the Union or State, shall not combine in any manner their
official tours with election work.
6. Whether on a private or official visit, no pilot car(s) or car(s) with beacon lights
of any colour or car(s) affixed with sirens of any kind shall be used by any

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political functionary, even if the State administration has granted him a security
cover requiring presence of armed guards to accompany him on such visit. This
is applicable whether the vehicle is government owned or private owned.
7. Any official who meets the Minister on his private visit to the constituency where
elections are being held shall be guilty of misconduct under the relevant service
rules; and if he happens to be an official mentioned in Section 129 (1) of the
Representation of People Act, 1951, he shall also be additionally considered to
have violated the statutory provisions of that Section and liable to penal action
provided there-under.
OTHER ‘DOS AND DON’TS’ FOR THE GUIDANCE OF THE CANDIDATES
AND POLITICAL PARTIES TO BE OBSERVED FROM THE ANNOUNCEMENT
OF AN ELECTION AND UNTIL THE COMPLETION OF THE PROCESS OF
ELECTION.
The Commission has drawn up a list of ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ to be followed
by candidates and political parties after the announcement of elections and till the
completion of the process of elections. The Commission has directed that this be given
the widest possible publicity and its contents brought to the knowledge of all candidates
and political parties including in the official language of the State.
It must be clearly brought to the notice of candidates and political parties that
the list of Dos’ and Donts’ is only illustrative and not exhaustive and is not intended to
substitute or modify other detailed directions/instructions on the above subjects, which
must be strictly observed and followed.

DO’S’
(1) On-going programmes, which actually started in the field before the
announcement of elections may continue.
(2) Relief and rehabilitation measures to the people in areas affected by floods,
drought, pestilence, and other natural calamities, can commence and continue.
(3) Grant of cash or medical facilities to terminally or critically ill persons can
continue with appropriate approvals.
(4) Public places like maidans must be available impartially to all parties/contesting
candidates for holding election meetings. So also use of helipads must be available
impartially to all parties/contesting candidates, to ensure a level playing field.
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(5) Criticism of other political parties and candidates should relate to their policies,
programme, past record and work.
(6) The right of every individual for peaceful and undisturbed home life should be
fully safeguarded.
(7) The local police authorities should be fully informed of the venue and time of
the proposed meetings well in time and all necessary permissions taken.
(8) If there are any restrictive or prohibitory orders in force in the place of the
proposed meeting, they shall be fully respected. Exemption, if necessary, must be
applied for and obtained well in time.
(9) Permission must be obtained for the use of loudspeakers or any other such
facilities for the proposed meetings.
(10) The assistance of the police should be obtained in dealing with persons disturbing
meetings or otherwise creating disorder.
(11) The time and place of the starting of any procession, the route to be followed
and the time and place at which the procession will terminate should be settled
in advance and advance permissions obtained from the police authorities.
(12) The existence of any restrictive orders in force in the localities through which the
procession has to pass should be ascertained and fully complied with. So also all
traffic regulations and other restrictions.
(13) The passage of the procession must be without hindrance to traffic.
(14) Cooperation should be extended to all election officials at all times to ensure
peaceful and orderly poll.
(15) All Workers must display badges or identity cards.
(16) Unofficial identity slips issued to voters shall be on plain (white) paper and not
contain any symbol, name of the candidate or name of the party.
(17) Restrictions on plying of vehicles during the campaign period and on poll day
shall be fully obeyed.
(18) (Except voters, candidates and their election/polling agents), only persons with
a specific valid authority letter from the Election Commission can enter any
polling booth. No functionary however highly placed (e.g. Chief Minister,

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Minister, MP or MLA etc) is exempt from this condition.


(19) Any complaint or problem regarding the conduct of elections shall be brought
to the notice of the observer appointed by the Commission/Returning Officer/
Zonal/Sector Magistrate/Election Commission of India.
(20) Directions/orders/instructions of the Election Commission, the Returning
Officer, and the District Election Officer shall be obeyed in all matters related to
various aspects of election.
(21) Do leave the constituency after the campaign period is over if you are not a voter
or a candidate or candidate’s election agent from that constituency.

DON’Ts
(1) Any and all advertisements at the cost of the public exchequer regarding
achievements of the party/Government in power is prohibited.
(2) No Minister shall enter any polling station or the place of counting, unless he or
she is a candidate or as a voter only for voting.
(3) Official work should not at all be mixed with campaigning/electioneering. (4)
No inducement, financial or otherwise, shall be offered to the voter.
(5) Caste/communal feelings of the electors shall not be appealed to.
(6) No activity, which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred
or cause tension between different castes, communities or religious or linguistic
groups shall be attempted.
(7) No aspect of the private life, not connected with the public activities, of the
leaders or workers of other parties shall be permitted to be criticized.
(8) Other parties or their workers shall not be criticized based on unverified
allegations or on distortions.
(9) Temples, Mosques, Churches, Gurudwaras or any place of worship shall not be
used as places for election propaganda, including speeches, posters, music etc.,
on electioneering.
(10) Activities which are corrupt practices or electoral offences such as bribery, undue
influence, intimidation of voters, personation, canvassing within 100 meters of a
polling station, holding of public meetings during the period of 48 hours ending

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with the hour fixed for the close of the poll and conveyance of voters to and from
polling stations are prohibited.
(11) Demonstrations or picketing before the houses of individuals by way of protesting
against their opinion or activities shall not be resorted to.
(12) Subject to the local laws, no one can make use of any individual’s land, building,
compound wall, vehicles etc. for erecting flag staffs, putting up banners, pasting
notices or writing slogans etc. without specific permission of the owner (to be
shown to and deposited with the District Election Officer).
(13) No disturbances shall be created in public meetings or processions organized by
other political parties or candidates.
(14) Processions along places at which another party is holding meetings shall not be
undertaken.
(15) Processionists shall not carry any articles, which are capable of being misused as
missiles or weapons.
(16) Posters issued by other parties and candidates shall not be removed or defaced.
(17) Posters, flags, symbols or any other propaganda material shall not be displayed in
the place being used on the day of poll for distribution of identity slips or near
polling booths.
(18) Loudspeakers whether static or mounted on moving vehicles shall not be used
either before 6 a.m. or after 10a.m. and without the prior written permission of
the authorities concerned.
(19) Loudspeakers shall also not be used at public meetings and processions without
the prior written permission of the authorities concerned. Normally, such
meetings/processions will not be allowed to continue beyond 10.00 p.m. in
the night and will be further subject to the local laws, local perceptions of the
security arrangements of the area and other relevant considerations like weather
conditions, festival season, examination period, etc.
(20) No liquor should be distributed during elections.
(21) On the day of the poll, no person who has been assessed to be having a security
threat and therefore given official security shall enter the vicinity of a polling
station premise (within 100 meters) with his security personnel. Further, on

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the day of the poll no such person shall move around in a constituency with his
security personnel. If the person provided with official security happens to be
a voter also, then he or she shall restrict his / her movement - accompanied by
security personnel, to voting only.
(22) No person who has been assessed to be having a security threat and therefore
provided official security or who has private security guards for himself, shall be
appointed as an election agent or polling agent or counting agent.
NOTE: The above list of Do’s’ and Don’ts’ is only illustrative and not exhaustive and is not
intended to substitute any other detailed orders, directions/instructions on the above
subjects, which must be strictly observed and followed.
The clarification/approval of the Election Commission of India/Chief Electoral Officer
of your State should be obtained in cases of doubt. Please acknowledge the receipt of this
letter.

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ANNEXURE- VI
(CHAPTER – 5 ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEW SCHEMES- RESTRICTION ON FINANCIAL
& ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS)

ECI letter No. 437/6/2009-CC&BE dated 5th March, 2009 addressed to the Cabinet
Secretary, Govt. of India and the Chief Secretaries and Chief Electoral Officers of all
States and UTs.
Sub: General Elections – Enforcement of the Model Code of Conduct - reg.
Sir,
I am directed to state that the Commission has considered various aspects in the
context of the Model Code of Conduct during General Elections and decided to issue
to following Guidelines regarding implementation/processing of the various projects,
schemes, rural development programmers etc. by the Central/State Governments :-
1. All Model Code of Conduct related directions shall be issued only by the
Commission. The Cabinet Secretariat or any other government agency should
reiterate and disseminate the directions of the Commission for compliance.
2. RBI may continue to take decisions unhindered on monetary policy issues.
3. After the Model Code of Conduct comes into effect, the Ministry of
Finance will need to take prior approval of the Commission on any policy
announcements, fiscal measures, taxation related issues and such other
financial relief. Similarly, other Ministries/Departments will need to take
prior approval of the Commission before announcing any relief/benefit.
4. The following types of existing works can be continued by the government
agencies without reference to the Election Commission after the Model Code
of Conduct comes into force:
a. Work-Projects that have actually started on the ground after obtaining all
necessary sanctions;
b. Beneficiary-projects where specific beneficiaries by name have been
identified before coming of the Model Code of Conduct into force;
c. Registered beneficiaries of NREGA may be covered under existing
projects. New projects under NREGA that may be mandated under
the provisions of the Act may be taken up only if it is for the already

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registered beneficiaries and the project is already listed in the approved


and sanctioned shelf of projects for which funds are also already
earmarked.
5. There shall be no bar to release of funds for the completed portion of any
work subject to observance of laid down procedures and concurrence of
finance department.
6. The following type of new works (whether beneficiary or work oriented) that
fulfill all the following conditions before Model Code of Conduct comes into
effect, can be taken up under intimation to the Commission-
a. Full funding has been tied up.
b. Administrative, technical and financial sanctions have been obtained
c. Tender has been floated, evaluated and awarded and
d. There is contractual obligation to start and end the work within a given
time frame and failing which there is an obligation to impose penalty on
the contractor.
e. In case of any of the above conditions not being met in such cases prior
approval of the Commission shall be sought and obtained.
7. Global tenders already floated, can be evaluated and finalized where any time
limits are specified for such purpose.
8. Tenders other than global tenders, that are already floated may be evaluated
but not finalized without prior approval of the Commission. If they are
not already floated, they shall not be floated without prior approval of the
Commission.
9. Commission invariably takes a humanitarian view on the work that are
necessitated due to man-made or natural calamities.
a. Ex-gratia payments and gratuitous relief in the aftermath of a disaster
can be given directly to the persons affected at the current rates/scales
of assistance presently in force, under intimation to the Commission.
No change in the extant and prescribed scales of payments, however,
shall be made in the existing rates/scales without prior permission of the
Commission.

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b. Payment directly to the hospitals from CM’s/PM’s Relief Fund, in lieu


of direct cash payment to individual patients (beneficiaries) will be
permissible without reference to the Commission.
c. Emergent relief works and measures that are aimed to mitigate the
hardships, directly and solely, of the persons affected in a disaster may
be taken up under intimation to the Commission.
d. However, new works that may be necessitated by way of preventive
measures to mitigate the likely effects of natural disasters like repair
of embankments, water channels etc. can be taken up only with prior
permission of the Commission.
e. Also, an area shall not be declared drought/flood affected or any such
calamity affected without prior approval of the Commission. The extent
of area already declared to be calamity-effected cannot be expanded
without prior approval of the Commission.
f. Similarly, any selective assistance to a group of persons from the PM’s
or the CM’s Relief Fund will require prior approval of the Commission.
10. The following type of activities will require prior permission of the
Commission:
a. New works and project cannot be taken up from discretionary funds of
whatever nature. Discretionary fund, in this context, includes funds,
which are provided for in the budget in a generic manner and for which
no identified and sanctioned project exists prior to Model Code of
Conduct coming into effect.
b. Proposals for revival of sick PSUs, governmental take over of enterprises
etc. (or any policy decision on similar lines) cannot be taken up.
c. Fresh auctions of liquor vends etc. cannot be held even if the annual
auction time falls within the Model Code of Conduct period. Where
necessary, the government should make interim arrangements as
provided in their respective laws.
d. Area of operation of any existing project/scheme/programme can not be
extended or expanded.

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e. No land allocation shall be made by the government to any entity,


whether individual or an enterprise.
f. Signing a MOU or an agreement where the government is a party will
also require prior clearance by the Commission.
11. Regular recruitment/appointment or promotion through the UPSC, State
Public Service Commissions or the Staff Selection Commission or any other
statutory authority can continue. Recruitments through non-statutory bodies,
will require prior clearance of the Commission.
12. While starting any work (including any relief work) or developmental
activity no formal function shall be held involving any political functionary.
As a matter of good practice, normal functions and publicity even with the
presence of official functionaries should be kept to the minimum.
13. Where works are to be undertaken or functions are to be held in fulfillment
of international commitments, prior concurrence of the Commission shall be
taken.
14. All Government of India references to the Election Commission of India shall
be made preferably through the Cabinet Secretariat. In so far as reference
from State Governments are concerned, the same shall be made to the Election
Commission of India through the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of the state
concerned.
This may be brought to the notice of all concern authorities.

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“No voter to be left behind”

ANNEXURE- VII
(CHAPTER – 5 ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEW SCHEMES- RESTRICTION ON FINANCIAL
& ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS)

ECI letter No.437/6/INST/2009-CC&BE dated 9th March, 2009 addressed to the


Chief Secretaries and Chief Electoral Officers of all States and UTs
Subject: General Election to the Lok Sabha-2009-Presentation of Budgets- Model
Code of Conduct – reg.
As you are aware, the General Election to the Lok Sabha, 2009 has been
announced by the Commission and Model Code of Conduct has come into force w.e.f.
2nd March, 2009. The Commission has received many references from various States in
respect of the introduction of the Budget for the year 2009-10.
2. The Commission would like to point out the prevalent convention that is
followed in most of the States is that instead of presenting full budget, only a
vote on account is taken for 3-4 months in cases where a General Election is
imminent or when the process of General Election has been announced and the
Model Code of Conduct is in operation. It contributes to a healthy democratic
practice.
3. The Commission, in deference to the State Legislatures, and having regard
to such a convention and propriety, would not like to lay down a precept or
prescribe a course of action. However, it would advise, in the case of States that
are going for Assembly polls, that a vote on account should be taken.
4. The above instructions may be brought to the notice of all concerned and the
receipt of this letter may please be acknowledged.

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ANNEXURE- VIII
(CHAPTER – 5 ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEW SCHEMES- RESTRICTION ON FINANCIAL
& ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS)

Election Commission’s letter No. 437/6/23/2004 PLN.III, dated 11.03.2004 addressed


to the Chief Secretaries of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu &
Jharkhand.
Subject: General Elections 2004 - Implementation of drought relief work -regarding.
The Commission has been receiving various representations from the State
Governments regarding the modalities of implementing relief work in areas which have
been declared as “drought affected” in the respective States. The Commission after taking
into account all relevant factors, directs the following :-
(i) The drought relief works by way of immediate relief measures to be taken up
by the State Governments shall only be in the areas which have been declared
as “’drought affected” within the parameters laid down under the guidelines for
managing of Calamity Relief Fund by the Central Government. No new areas
are to be added to the existing list of such “drought affected” areas after the
announcement of elections on February 29th 2004. Addition of any additional
area/village will only be subject to obtaining prior concurrence of the Commission
after following the due procedure laid down for seeking assistance under the
Calamity Relief Fund/ National Relief Fund laid down by the Government of
India for operation of such funds.
(ii) To provide immediate relief in the areas declared as drought affected, the
Commission has provisionally approved the following measures:-
(a) Provision of drinking water by way of water tankers.
(b) Digging of bore-wells as well as dug-wells in scarcity areas on account of
drying of the existing bore-wells/dug-wells.
(c) Provision of rice/wheat at prescribed rates for distribution among the
destitute without support and who cannot go for work as per mechanism
already prescribed in the Calamity Relief Fund Scheme.
(d) Provision of fodder for cattle.
(e) New works on wage employment (Food for work etc.) where such existing
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works have been completed.


(iii) No minister of the Government or a political functionary will be associated in
the management of the drought relief operations in any capacity, supervisory or
otherwise, during period of operation of the model code of conduct.
(iv) The entire relief operation would be taken up by the Division, District and
Taluka/sub-District Administration without involving elected representatives
and/or non-officials at any level.
Kindly ensure compliance of the directions of the Commission and acknowledge.

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ANNEXURE- IX
(CHAPTER – 5 ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEW SCHEMES- RESTRICTION ON FINANCIAL
& ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS)

Election Commission’s letter no. 437/6/1/2014-CC&BE dated 05.03.2014 addressed to The


Cabinet Secretary, The Secretary Department of Programme Implementation and the
Chief Secretaries/Chie Electoral Officers of all States and Union Territories
Subject: General Elections to Lok Sabha 2014 and State Legislative Assemblies of
Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim - Release of funds under MPs’ /MLAs’ Local
Areas Development Scheme
I am directed to refer to the Commission’s Press Note No. ECI/PN/10/2014,
dated 5 March, 2014 (Press Note available at Commission’s web-site – www.eci.gov.
th

in) as per which the Commission has announced the enforcement of the Model Code
of Conduct for the guidance of the Political Parties and Candidates, consequent on the
announcement of General Election to Lok Sabha and to the Legislative Assemblies of the
States of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim including certain bye-elections.
2. The Commission has considered the release of funds under the Member of
Parliament Local Area Development Schemes and has decided that-
a) No fresh release of funds under the Member of Parliament (including Rajya
Sabha members) Local Area Development fund shall be made in any part of
the country where election is in progress. Similarly no fresh release of funds
under the MLAs’/ MLCs’ Local Area Development Fund shall be made, if
any such scheme is in operation, till the completion of election process.
b) No work shall start in respect of which work orders have been issued before
the issue of this letter but the work has actually not started in the field. These
works can start only after the completion of election process. However, if a
work has actually started, that can continue.
There shall be no bar to the release of payments for completed work(s) subject to the full
satisfaction of the concerned officials.

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ANNEXURE- X
(CHAPTER – 6 PUBLICATION OF ADVERTISEMENTS AT COST OF PUBLIC
EXCHEQUER)

Election Commission’s letter No.509/75/2004/JS-I, dated 15.04.2004 addressed to the


Chief Electoral Officers of all the States / Union Territories.
Subject: - Supreme Court’s Order dated 1 3 t h April, 2004 relating to advertisements of
political nature on TV Channel and cable networks.
I am directed to enclose herewith a copy of the order dated 15th April. 2004,
passed by the Commission in pursuance of the Order dated 13th April. 2004. of the Hon’ble
Supreme Court in SLP ( C ) No. 6679 of 2004 (Ministry of Information and Broadcasting
Vs. M/s. Gemini TV Pvt. Ltd. and others).
2. It may be noted that the Commission has directed that for pre-viewing.
scrutinizing and certifying advertisements to be telecast over TV channels
and cable networks by any registered political party or by any group or
organization / association, having headquarters in NCT of Delhi, the Chief
Electoral Officer, Delhi is to constitute a Committee as directed in paragraph
6 (i) of the Order. Similarly, the Chief Electoral Officers of other States /
Union Territories will constitute Committees for dealing with applications by
political parties and other associations / groups with headquarters in their States
/ Union Territories, as per paragraph 6 (iii). Vide paragraph 6 (v) of the Order,
the Returning Officer of every Parliamentary Constituency have been declared as
Designated Officer for previewing, scrutinizing and certifying advertisements by
individual candidates contesting election from the constituency concerned.
For the candidates contesting the current general election to the Legislative
Assemblies of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Orissa and Sikkim and the bye-elections
in some States, the Returning Officer of the Parliamentary Constituency comprising
the Assembly Constituency concerned will entertain applications for certification of
advertisements.
3. The Chief Electoral Officers of all States / Union Territories are also required
to constitute further a Committee to attend to complaints / grievances in regard
to the decision of the Committees Designated Officers on the application for
certification of advertisements.
4. Each application for certification is to be submitted before the Committee

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concerned or the Designated Officer concerned in a statement as per the


format prescribed in Annexure-A appended to the Order. The certificate for
telecast for an advertisement is to be given by the Committee / Designated
Officer in the format as given in Annexure-B appended to the Order. The
applicants are required to submit two copies of the proposed advertisements in
electronic form alongwith an attested transcript thereof.
5. A proper record in a register should be maintained for all applications
received for certification. Each application should be serially numbered and
the serial numbers should also be indicated on the two copies in electronic form
and the receiving officer should affix his signature on the electronic copy. After
issue of certificate, one electronic copy of the advertisement as certified for
telecast, should be retained by the Committee / Designated Officer.
6. All Chief Electoral Officers may take immediate action for acquiring, by hiring
or purchase, necessary equipments / infrastructure, such as television. VCR,
VCD, etc. that may be required for the purpose of previewing and scrutinizing
of advertisements by the Committees and Designated Officer in their
State / Union Territory. Any purchase made are to be in accordance with the
rates and procedures approved by the State Governments for similar items.
7. The Commission’s order may be given wide publicity and this may be
specifically brought to the notice of all District Election Officers / District
Magistrates. Returning Officers, TV Channels, cable operators and political
parties in the State / Union Territory.
8. Kindly acknowledge receipt.

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COPY

ELECTION COMMISSION OF INDIA


NIRVACHAN SADAN, ASHOKA ROAD, NEW DELHI-110001.

No. 509/75 2004/JS-I Dated 15 th April, 2004.


ORDER
1. Whereas, Section 6 of the Cable Television (Regulation) Act. 1995. provides that
no person shall transmit or re-transmit through a cable service any advertisement
unless such advertisement is in conformity with the prescribed advertisement
code; and
2. Whereas, Sub- rule (3) of Rule 7 of the Cable Television Network (Regulations)
Rules, 1994 laying down the advertising code in terms of the abovementioned
Section 6 provides that “no advertisement shall be permitted, the objects
whereof, are wholly or mainly of a religious or political nature; advertisements
must not be directed towards any religious or political end”; and
3. Whereas, the High Court of Andhra Pradesh, by its judgement and order dated
23-03-2004 in WPMP No.5214/2004 (Gemini TV Pvt. Ltd. Vs. Election
Commission of India and others), suspended the above mentioned
provisions of Rule 7(3) of the Cable Television Network (Regulation)
Rules, 1994; and
4. Whereas the Hon’ble Supreme court, by its interim order dated 2-4-2004.
in SLP (Civil) No.6679/2004 (Ministry of Information & Broadcasting
Vs M/s Gemini TV and Others), in substitution of the order under challenge,
had directed as below: -
(i) No cable operator or TV channel shall telecast any advertisement,
which does not conform to the law of the country and which offends
the morality, decency and susceptibility of views or which is shocking,
disgusting and revolting;
(ii) The telecast shall be monitored by the Election Commissioner of India;
(iii) The question as to whether the expenditure incurred by the
candidate on inserting such advertisement should or should not be
included, shall be considered on 5th April, 2004; and

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(iv) The modalities whether such advertisements are in conformity with


law, shall be laid down by the Election Commissioner of India.
5. Whereas, The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India by its further order dated 13th
April. 2004, in SLP (Civil) No. 6679/2004 has directed as follows:
“--- Before we pass the order, it will be worthwhile to notice certain
provisions of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 [for
short, “the Act”], as amended from time to time, and the Rules framed
there under. The object of the Act is to regulate the operation of the cable
television network in the country. Section 6 of the Act provides that no person
shall transmit or retransmit through a cable service any advertisement unless
such advertisement is in conformity with the prescribed advertisement code.
Section 11 of the Act provides that if any authorized officer has reason to
believe that the provisions of the Act have been or are being contravened
by any cable operator, he may seize the equipment being used by such cable
operator for operating the cable television network. Section 12 of the Act
provides for confiscation of the equipment in the event of any violation
of the provisions of the Act. Similarly, Section 13 of the Act also provides
for seizure or confiscation of the equipment and punishment. Section 16
further provides for punishment for contravention of the provisions of the
Act. Section 19 lays down that an authorized officer, if he thinks necessary
or expedient so to do in the public interest, may, by order, prohibit any
cable operator from transmitting or re-transmitting any advertisement
which is not in conformity with the prescribed programme code and
advertisement code and it is likely to promote enmity on grounds of
religion, race, language, caste or community or any other grounds whatsoever,
disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different religion,
racial, linguistic or regional groups or castes or communities or which is likely
to disturb public tranquility. Section 22 of the Act empowers the Central
Government to frame Rules to carry out the provisions of Act. The Central
Government in exercise of the powers conferred on it by Section 22 of the Act is
empowered to make Rules which arc known as The Cable Television Networks
Rules, 1994 [for short, “the Rules”]. Rule 7 of the Rules provides that where
an advertisement is carried in the cable service it shall be so designed
as to conform to the laws of the country and should not offend morality,
decency and religious susceptibilities of the subscribers. Sub-rule (2), inter

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alia, provides that no advertisement shall be permitted which derides any


race, caste, colour, creed and nationality, is against any provision of the
Constitution of India and tends to incite people to crime, cause disorder
or violence or breach of law or glorifies violence or obscenity in any way.
Sub-rule (3) further provides that no advertisement shall be permitted
the objects whereof are wholly or mainly of religious or political nature,
advertisements must not be directed towards any religious or political end.
It is in this background, we now propose to pass the following order:
Every registered National and State, political party and every
contesting candidate proposing to issue advertisement on television channel
and/or cable network will have to apply to the Election Commission/
Designated Officer (as designated by the Election Commission) not later
than three days prior to the date of the proposed commencement of the
telecast of such advertisement. In case of any other person or unregistered
political parties, they will have to apply not later than seven days prior to the
date of the telecast. Such application shall be accompanied by two copies
of the proposed advertisement in electronic form along with a duly attested
transcript thereof. In case of first phase of elections, the application shall
be disposed of within two days of its receipt and until decision thereon
is taken, our order dated 2nd April, 2004, shall apply. In case of subsequent
phase of election, the application shall be disposed of within three days of
its receipt and until the decision thereon is taken, our order dated 2nd April,
2004, shall apply. While disposing of such applications, it will be open to
the Election Commission/Designated Officer to direct deletion/modification of
any part of the advertisement.
The application for certification shall contain following details:
(a) The cost of production of the advertisement;
(b) The approximate cost of proposed telecast of such advertisement
on a television channel or cable network with the break-up of
number of insertions and rate proposed to be charged for each such
insertion;
(c) It shall also contain a statement whether the advertisement inserted
is for the benefit of the prospects of the election of a candidate(s)/
parties;
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(d) If the advertisement is issued by any person other than a political


party or a candidate, that person shall state on oath that it is not for
the benefit of the political party or a candidate and that the said
advertisement has not been sponsored or commissioned or paid
for by any political party or a candidate; and
(e) A statement that all the payments shall be made by way of
cheque or demand draft.
We find that Section 2(a) of the Act defines “authorized officer”, within his
local limits of jurisdiction, as (a) District Magistrate; (b) Sub-divisional Magistrate;
or (c) or Commissioner of Police. Similarly, Section 28-A of the Representation
of People Act, 1951 provides that the Returning Officer, Assistant Returning
Officer, Presiding Officer, Polling Officer and any other officer appointed
under this part and any police officer designated for the time being by the State
Government, for the conduct of any election shall be deemed to be on deputation
to the Election Commission for the period commencing on and from the date of
the notification calling for such election and ending with the date of declaration
of results of such election and, accordingly, such officer shall during that period,
be subject to the control, superintendence and discipline of the Election
Commission.
Since it is not physically possible for the Election Commission to have a
pre-censorship of all the advertisements on various cable networks and television
channels, it has become necessary to authorize the Election Commission to
delegate its powers in this behalf to the respective District Magistrates of all the
States or Union Territories, not below the rank of a Sub-divisional Magistrate or
a member of the State Provincial Civil Service. This may be done by a general
order issued by the Election Commission. These officers shall act under
the control, superintendence and discipline of the Election Commission. The
Election Commission in its turn may delegate its powers to the Chief Electoral
Officer of each State or the Union Territories, as the case may be.
The Chief Electoral Officer of each State or Union Territory may
appoint a committee for entertaining complaints or grievances of any political party
or candidate or any other person in regard to the decision to grant or to refuse
certification of an advertisement. The committee so appointed shall communicate
its decision to the Election Commission.

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The committee so constituted will function under the overall


superintendence, direction and control of the Election Commission of India.
The decision given by the committee shall be binding and complied
with by the political parties, candidates, or any other person applying for
advertisements in electronic media subject to what has been state above.
The comments and observations for deletion or modification, as the case
may be, made, shall be binding and complied with by the concerned political
party or contesting candidate or any other person within twenty four hours
from the receipt of such communication and the advertisement so modified will
be re-submitted for review and certification.
We may clarify that provisions of Section 126 of the Representation of
People Act, 1951, shall apply to the advertisement covered by this order.
If any political party, candidate or any other person is aggrieved by the
decision taken either by the committee or by the Designated Officer/Election
Commission it will be open for them to approach only this court for clarification
or appropriate orders and no other court, tribunal or authority shall entertain
any petition in regard to the complaint against such advertisement. This order
shall come into force with effect from 16th April, 2004 and shall continue to be
in force till 10th May, 2004.
This order is being issued in exercise of the powers under Article
142 of the Constitution of India and it shall bind all the political parties,
candidates, persons, group of persons or Trusts who propose to insert the
advertisement in the electronic media, including cable network and/or
television channels as well as cable operators.
It will be open to the Election Commission to requisition such
staff as may be necessary for monitoring the telecast of such advertisements.
Where the Election Commission is satisfied that there is a violation of this
order or any provisions of the Act, it will issue an order to the violator to
forthwith stop such violations and it will also be open to direct seizure
of the equipments. Every order shall be promptly complied with by the
person(s) on whom such order is served.
The funds to meet the cost of monitoring the advertisements
should be made available to the Election Commission by the Union of

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India. Adequate publicity of this order shall be given by the Union of


India on the electronic media and through print media.
This order is in continuation of the order passed by this Court
on 2 April, 2004 and shall remain in operation as an interim measure till
n

10 th May, 2004.
Subject to the aforesaid order, the judgment of the High Court
of Andhra Pradesh dated 23 rd March 2004 shall remain stayed. This
order is passed not in derogation of but in addition to the powers of the
Central Government in regard to the breach of the provisions of the Act.”
6. Now therefore, in pursuance of the aforesaid directions of the Hon’ble
Supreme Court, the Election Commission hereby directs as follows: -
(i) The Chief Electoral Officer Delhi is hereby directed to constitute
a Committee comprising the following persons to deal with the
applications by the political parties and organizations mentioned in
para (ii) herein below:-
a) The Joint Chief Electoral officer - Chairperson.
b) Returning Officer of an> Parliamentary Constituency in Delhi.
c) One expert being an officer not below the rank of Class-1 officer to
be requisitioned from the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.
(ii) The above Committee will entertain applications for certification of any
advertisement to be inserted in a television channel or cable network by
the following:-
a) All registered political parties having their headquarters in NCT of
Delhi.
b) All groups or organizations or associations or persons having their
headquarters in NCT of Delhi.
(iii) The Chief Electoral Officer of even- other State/Union Territory is hereby
directed to constitute the following Committee to deal with applications by
political parties and organizations mentioned in para (iv) below:-
a) The Additional, Joint Chief Electoral Officer - Chairperson.

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b) Returning Officer of any Parliamentary constituency located in the


capital of the State.
c) One expert being an officer not below the rank of Class-1 officer to be
requisitioned from the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.
(iv) The Committee constituted in para (iii) above will entertain applications
for certification for advertisement on television channel and cable
network by the following:-
(a) All registered political parties having their headquarters in that
State /Union Territory,
(b) All organizations or group of persons or associations having
their registered offices in that State/Union Territory.
(v) The Returning Officer of every Parliamentary constituency in the
country are hereby declared as Designated Officers for the purpose of
entertaining application for certification of an advertisement proposed
to be issued on cable network or television channel by an individual
candidate contesting the election from the Parliamentary’ constituency of
which such Designated Officer is the Returning Officer and candidates
contesting in the Assembly constituencies falling within that Parliamentary
constituency. The said Returning Officer may co-opt any of the Assistant
Returning Officers, not below the rank of a Sub-divisional Magistrate
belonging to the State Provincial Civil Service to assist him in the task of
certification of applications.
7. The Chief Electoral Officer of every State/Union Territory will constitute
the following Committee to entertain complaints/grievances of any political
party or candidate or any other person in regard to the decision to grant or refuse
certification of an advertisement:-
(i) The Chief Electoral Officer - Chairperson.
(ii) Any Observer appointed by the Election Commission of India
(iii) One expert to be co-opted by the Committee other than the one mentioned
in paras 6 (i) and 6 (iii) above.
8. The applications for certification of any advertisements by every registered
political parties and every contesting candidates shall be made to the
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Committees mentioned in paras 6 (i) and 6 (iii) above or the Designated


Officer as mentioned in para 6 (iv) above, as the case may be, not later than
3 (three) days prior to the date of the commencement of the telecast of such
advertisements. In the case of first phase of elections such applications
shall be disposed of within 2 (two) days of its receipt and until decision
thereon is taken, the order of the Supreme Court dated 2-4-2004 shall
apply.
9. Where an application for certification of advertisement is by any
other person or unregistered political parties, it will have to be made not later
than 7 (seven) days prior to the date of telecast.
10. Every such application, in the format prescribed at Annexure A, shall be
accompanied by the following:
(i) Two copies of the proposed advertisement in the electronic form along
with a duly attested transcript thereof,
(ii) The application for certification shall contain following details:-
a) The cost of production of the advertisement:
b) The approximate cost of proposed telecast of such advertisement
on a television channel or cable network with the break-up of number
of insertions and rate proposed to be charged for each such insertion:
c) It shall also contain a statement whether the advertisement inserted is
for the benefit of the prospects of the election of a candidate(s)/parties;
d) If the advertisement is issued by any person other than a political
party or a candidate, that person shall state on oath that it is not for
the benefit of the political party or a candidate and that the said
advertisement has not been sponsored or commissioned or paid for
by any political party or a candidate:
e) A statement that all the payment shall be made by way of cheque or
demand draft.
11. While taking a decision on the applications for certification of an
advertisement, it will be open for the Committees constituted in para 6 (i)
and 6 (iii) above or the Designated Officer as in para 6 (v) above or the review

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Committee as constituted in para 7 above to direct deletion/modification


of any part of the advertisement. Every such order making comments
and observation for deletion and modification shall be binding and be
complied by the concerned political party or contesting candidate or any
other person within 24 hours from the receipt of such communication. The
advertisement so modified will be re-submitted for review and certification.
12. Where the Committees constituted in para 6 (i) and 6 (iii) above or the Designated
Officer or the review Committee as constituted in para 7 above as the case
may be, is satisfied that the advertisement meets the requirements of the
law and in accordance with the directions of the Supreme Court as inserted in
paras 4 and 5 above, it should issue a certificate to the effect of the advertisement
concerned is fit for telecast. The format for the certificate is at Annexure B.
13. The directions contained in the order dated 13th April 2004 by Supreme
Court shall be strictly complied with by everyone concerned and will remain
in operation till 10th May 2004 and it shall bind all the political parties,
candidates, persons, group of persons or Trusts who propose to insert the
advertisements in the electronic media, including the cable networks and/or
television channels as well as cable operators.

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Annexure - A
APPLICATION FOR CERTIFICATION OF ADVERTISEMENT
I.
(i) Name and full address of the applicant
(ii) Whether the advertisement is by a political party / contesting candidate any other
person / group of persons association / organization / Trust (give the name)
( i ii) (a) In case of political party, the status of the party (whether recognized
National/ State / unrecognized party)
( b ) In case of a candidate, name of the Parliamentary Assembly Constituency
from where contesting
(iv) Address of Headquarters of political party / group or body of persons / association/
organization / Trust
(v) Channels / cable networks on which the advertisement is proposed to be telecast
(vi) (a) Is the advertisement for the benefit of p rosp e cts o f e le cti on of
an y candidate(s)
(b) If so, give the name(s) of such candidate(s) with full address and
name(s) of constituency(ies)
(vii) Date of submission of the advertisement
( v i i i ) Language(s) used in the advertisement (advertisement is to be submitted with two
copies in electronic form alongwith a duly attested transcript)
(ix) Title of advertisement
(x) Cost of production of the advertisement
(xi) Approximate cost of proposed telecast with the breakup of number of insertions
and rate proposed for each such insertion
(xii) Total expenditure involved (in Rupees)

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II.
I, Shri / Smt._____________________. S/o / D/o / W/o__________________,
(full address)________________________________, undertake that all payments
related to the production and telecast of this advertisement will be made by way of
cheque / demand draft.
Place: Signature of the applicant
Date:

III.
(Applicable for advertisement by a person / persons, other than a political party or a
candidate)
I, Shri / Smt.________________________. S/o / D/o / W/o________________.
( f u l l
address)_____________________________________________________________
hereby state and affirm that the advertisement(s) submitted herewith is not for the benefit of
any political party or any candidate and that this advertisement(s) has / have not been
sponsored / commissioned or paid for by any political party or a candidate.
Place: Signature of applicant
Date:

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Annexure - B

CERTIFICATION OF ADVERTISEMENT FOR TELECAST

I.
(i) Name and address of the applicant / political party / candidate ‘ person / group
of persons / association; organization/ Trust
(ii) Title of advertisement
(iii) Duration of advertisement
(iv) Language(s) used in advertisement
(v) Date of submission of advertisement
(vi) Date of certification for telecast

II.
Certified that the above advertisement is fit for telecast as per the guidelines
prescribed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India.
Signature chairperson/
members of committee /
Designated Officer

Place:_________________
Date: ______________

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ANNEXURE- XI
(CHAPTER – 7 TOURS/VISITS OF MINISTERS/OTHER DIGNITARIES)

Election Commission’s letter No.437/6/2007-PLN-III Dated : 23rd November, 2007


addressed to The Cabinet Secretary Government of India, the Chief Secretaries and the
Chief Electoral Officers of all States and Union Territories.
Subject: - Tours of Ministers - General Elections
Reference :- 1. Commission’s Letter No. 437/6/96/PLN-III dated 17.01.1996
2. Commission’s Letter No 437/6/99-PLN-III dated 15.07.1999
3. Commission’s Letter No 437/6/4/2003-PLN-III dated 12.06.2003
I am directed to state that Ministers may be undertaking visits to the State(s)
where election is being held or have been announced and the provisions of Model
Code of Conduct are in force, in connection with electioneering. The Commission, in
order to ensure a level playing field which is a precondition for free and fair elections,
has issued instructions from time to time governing such tours of ministers and has
prescribed certain guidelines to ensure that the official machinery is in no way engaged
in any election related work by such touring dignitaries. These have been upheld by the
Supreme Court of India in the case of Narendra Kumar Gaur vs. Election Commission
of India in Writ Petition No. 339 of 1999 on 16.08.99.
2. The Commission’s instructions contained in the letters mentioned at the
reference above have been consolidated for the sake of convenience in the
following paragraphs :-
(1) If a Minister of the Union is traveling from his/her headquarters to a poll
bound state/district on purely official business, which cannot be avoided
in public interest, then a letter certifying to this effect should be sent from
the Secretary of the department/ministry concerned of the Government of
India, to the Chief Secretary of the state which the Minister intends to visit,
with a copy to the Commission. On receipt of such information from the
Secretary that the Union Minister is proposing a purely official visit and
no political activity of any kind is envisaged during such tour, the Chief
Secretary may provide the Union Minister with a Government vehicle
and accommodation and extend other usual courtesies for his official trip.
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While doing so, the Chief Electoral Officer of the State, who is entrusted
with the task of monitoring of electoral activity in the State, including
the implementation of the Model Code of Conduct, shall be alerted in
advance by the Chief Secretary. The Commission will keep watch on such
arrangements in consultation with its Chief Electoral Officer.It is hoped
that the Union Ministers will avoid making official visits to their home
States, Constituency state and particularly to the constituencies from where
they are contesting elections while it is open for them to make private visits
(See ECI instruction No. 437/6/99 – PLN III dated 15.07.99)
(2) The Commission also directs that –
(i) No minister of State Government shall undertake an official visit to any
constituency for which elections have been announced by the Commission
during the period commencing with announcement of the elections upto
end of the election process.
(ii) Minister will not summon any election related officer of the constituency
or the State in which any elections have been announced, to a place or
office or guest house inside or outside the aforesaid constituency for any
official discussions during the period of elections commencing with the
announcement of the elections from such constituency and ending with the
completion of election process.
(iii) The only exception to these instructions will be when a Minister, in his
capacity as in charge of the department concerned, or a Chief Minister
undertakes an official visit to a constituency, or summons any election
related officers of the constituency to a place outside the constituency, in
connection with failure of law and order or occurrence of a natural calamity
or any such emergency which requires personal presence of such Ministers/
Chief Ministers for the specific purpose of supervision review/salvage/relief
and other similar purposes. (See ECI instruction No. 437/6/96/PLN III –
dated 17.01.96)
(3) It is clarified that the Ministers are entitled to use their official vehicles in
their headquarters from their place of residence to their office for official
work provided that such commuting is not combined with any electioneering
or any political activity which would include a visit to party office even if
it were enroute. No pilot car(s) or car(s) with beacon lights of any colour
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or car(s) affixed with sirens of any kind making his presence conspicuous
shall be used by any Minister during his/her electioneering visits, even if the
State administration has granted him a security cover requiring presence of
armed personnel to accompany him on such visit. (See ECI instruction No.
437/6/96/PLN III – dated 17.01.96)
(4) During bye elections from any constituencies, either Parliamentary or
Assemblies, the following restrictions will be applicable with regard to
the tours of Ministers subject to exceptions mentioned above in para 2(iii)
covering situations of grave emergency:-
(i) All Ministers, whether Central or State, shall not combine in any manner
their official tours with election work after the announcement of the bye
elections. They shall return to their headquarters on completion of their
official tours. All and any visits to the district(s) where bye-election is being
held and where Model Code of Conduct is, therefore, in force, have to be
completely private in nature and such private visits should begin and end at
the Minister’s headquarters.
(ii) In case where a Minister traveling on official work transits through the
district(s) where the bye-election is being held en route to any other district
on official visit, he/she shall not halt in the district(s) where Model Code of
Conduct is in force and shall not attend to any political work.
(iii) No official of any rank of the district(s) where the bye-election is being held,
shall be called to attend any meeting by any Minister in any district, that is
to say, even in other districts where election is not being held.
(iv) Any official who meets the Minister on his private visit to the constituency
where elections are being held shall be guilty of misconduct under the
relevant service rules; and if he happens to be an official mentioned in
Section 129 (1) of the Representation of People Act, 1951, he shall also
be additionally considered to have violated the statutory provisions of that
Section and liable to penal action provided thereunder.
(v) No pilot car(s) or car(s) with beacon lights of any colour or car(s) affixed
with sirens of any kind making his presence conspicuous shall be used by
any Minister during his/her private visit to the constituency where a bye
election is under way even if the State administration has granted him a

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security cover requiring presence of armed guards to accompany him


on such visit. (See ECI instruction No. 437/6/4/2003 – PLN III dated
12.06.03)
(5) The Commission further directs that the Chief Electoral Officer of the State
who is entrusted with the task of monitoring of electoral activities in the
State including the implementation of Model Code of Conduct shall be kept
informed in advance by the District Election Officer of any visit proposed to
be undertaken by any Minister of the State Govt. or any Central Minister to
the district where bye-election is being held and the Chief Electoral Officer
shall forthwith communicate the same to the Election Commission. (See ECI
instruction No. 437/6/4/2003 – PLN III dated 12.06.03)
3. Any violation of these instructions will be viewed as gross infringement not only
of the Model code of Conduct but also of the authority of the Commission to
promulgate such directions as it considers necessary to ensure peaceful, fair and
free poll reflective of the true choice of the people, and will be visited with such
action as considered appropriate by the Commission on the merits of the specific
circumstances.

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Govt. of India
Ministry of Home Affairs
Office Memorandum
Subject: General Election to Lok Sabha Tours of Minister in Connection with
election campaign
The undersigned is directed to say that whenever elections to the Lok Sabha are
held, questions are invariably raised in Parliament about the tours undertaken by the
Ministers in connection with the election campaign. In reply, as a general policy it has
always been made clear that according to existing instructions, tours in connections
with election campaign are not to be treated as official tours and that the services of
Government officials cannot be utilized for party of election work. The Ministry of Home
Affairs have been issuing instructions regarding tours of ministers for non official purposes,
including election tours from time to time. These instructions had been summarized and
a copy thereof was laid on the Table of the Lok Sabha on 31 st July, 1970. As the general
election to the Lok Sabha are due to be held in November, 1989 a copy of the summary
of these instructions is enclosed with the request that its contents may be brought to the
notice of the Ministers.
Instructions regarding the tours of Minister for non-official purposes including
election tours, are contained in several communications issued and reissued from time
to time.

General Instructions:
(1) Until a Minister demits office he is in charge of public affairs and accordingly even
while on tours, whether for official or private purposes, he must continue to
discharge the responsibilities as Minister Hence,
(a) he can take with him the minimum personal staff needed for this purpose
and such staff is entitled to draw travelling and daily allowance under the
rules; and
(b) when he visits any place, the district officers must arrange for normal
courtesies and security.
(2) A Minister may claim travelling and daily allowance only in respect of tours
undertaken for official purposes i.e. tours, actually necessitated by duties
which he could not perform, at headquarters. If an official tour is combined
with private business of the Minister, which includes party work, and he has to

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undertake any additional journey for this purpose, he is not entitled to any
travelling allowance for the additional journey. If a Minister while on official
tour devotes any day of his halt exclusively for private business he is not entitled
to day allowance for that day.

Special instructions regarding election tours:


(3) Whenever a Minister decides that meeting which is going to be addressed by
him as an election meeting he should ask for arrangements to be made on his
behalf non-officially and not by Government Servants. During the election
tours Government meetings would be rare and normally public meetings
should be considered election meetings and all expenses except those relating
to maintenance of law and order, borne privately.
(4) The role of officials at election meetings should be confined to maintaining
law and order and affording normal protection to Ministers.
(5) No travelling expenses or daily allowance should be charged by Ministers
for journeys, which have for their main purpose election campaign. It would
be presumed that for some weeks prior to the poll, the activities of Ministers
on tour are much more concerned with elections than with their official
duties.
(6) A journey undertaken by a Minister for filing nomination papers and
subsequent tours to his constituency should be regarded as being for
election purposes.
(7) If a Minister who has proceeded to his constituency for election purposes at
his own expenses, has to proceed to some other place on duty, he may draw
travelling allowance limited to the amount admissible from his headquarters
to the other place and back to headquarters. If he had to return to headquarters
from his own constituency in public interest by interrupting his election work,
he may only claim the return air or railway fare. Public interest shall naturally
include attendance at all Cabinet Sub- Committee meetings. Other meetings
or conferences at headquarters should be avoided as far as possible.
(7) Where a Minister has been provided with a car exclusively at the expenses of
the State, the car should not be used for election purposes. Even where a car is
provided by the State but the Minister is given an allowance for maintenance
of the vehicle, it is not desirable to use such vehicle for election purposes.
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ANNEXURE- XII
(CHAPTER – 9 DISPLAY OF PHOTO/MESSAGE ON OFFICIALWEBSITE/GOVT.
BUILDINGS/ADVERTISEMENTS)

ECI letter No. 437/6/INST/2014/CC&BE, dated 20.03.2014 addressed to the Cabinet


Secretary, Chief Secretaries and Chief Electoral Officers of all States and UTs.
Subject: Instructions relating to deletion of all references on politicians/Ministers
on the official website during election period of General/Bye-election to the Lok
Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies -reg.
I am directed to state that the Commission vide its letter No. 437/6/2007 (INST)-
PLN-III, dated 21st November, 2007, issued instructions to deletion of all references
on politicians/Ministers on the official website during election period of General/Bye-
elections to the Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies.
It has come to the notice of the Commission that the aforesaid instructions
of the Commission are not being followed by Central and State Governments during
election period. It is clearly mentioned in clause VII (iv) of Model Code of Conduct for
guidance of Political parties and candidate:-
“VII. Party in Power
The party in power whether at the Centre or in the State or States concerned,
shall ensure that no cause is given for any complaint that it has used its official position
for the purpose of its election campaign and in particular
(iv) Issues of advertisement at the cost of public exchequer in the newspapers and
other media and the misuse of official mass media during the election period for partisan
coverage of political news and publicity regarding achievements with a view to furthering
the prospects of the party in power shall be scrupulously avoided.”
The Commission has considered the question of various references currently
available in the Ministerial office website and in the State Government websites pertaining
to several Department and Government Organization highlighting their achievements
but eulogizing the same as personal achievements of Politicians/Ministers.
The Commission has decided that during the period when Model Code of
Conduct is in force in connection with General Election to the Lok Sabha/State Legislative
Assemblies currently going on, all references of Ministers, Politicians or Political Parties
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available on such Central/State Government’s official website, shall be removed.


The above instruction of the Commission may kindly be communicated to all
concerned for strict compliance.

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ANNEXURE- XIII
(CHAPTER – 10 USE/REQUISITION OF VEHICLES)

Letter no. 464/INST/2014/EPS dated 10th April, 2014.

2.1 Meaning of ‘vehicle’


The expression ‘vehicle’ means, and shall include, any vehicle used or capable of
being used for the purpose of transport, whether propelled by mechanical power
or otherwise and will include, but not restricted to, trucks, lorries, tempos, jeeps,
cars, auto rickshaws, e-rickshaws, buses, boats and helicopters, etc. The word
‘official vehicle’ will cover all vehicles belonging to the (i) Central Government,
(ii) State Government/UT Administrations , (iii) pubic undertakings of the
Central and State governments, (iv) Joint Sector Undertakings of Central
and State Governments, (v) Local Bodies, (vi) Municipal Corporations,
(vii) Municipalities, (viii) Marketing Boards (by whatever name known), (ix)
Cooperative Societies, (x) Autonomous District Councils or any other body in
which public funds, howsoever small a portion of the total, are invested and
also include those belonging to the Ministry of Defense and the Central Public
Organizations under the Ministry of Home Affairs and State Governments.

Directions of ECI
2.2 Subject to exceptions mentioned herein, there shall be a total and absolute
ban on the use of official vehicles for campaigning, electioneering or election
related travel during election period starting with the announcement of
election schedule by the ECI and ending with the completion of election
process. There shall be a total prohibition on the use of any official vehicles
(except as regulated by the Commission’s order No. 464/INST/2014/EPS dated
10th April, 2014 on the subject - see Annexure I) by any political party, candidate
or any other person connected with election (except officials performing any
election related official duty).
2.3 The District Administration shall keep a close watch to find out if any official
vehicle belonging to any authority specified in the preceding para is being
used for electioneering purposes. In case it is so, the District Magistrate shall,
forthwith, requisition or cause to be requisitioned such vehicles, after following

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due procedure, for election work, under section 160 of the Representation of the
People Act, 1951 and such requisitioned vehicles shall not be released until after
the completion of the process of elections.

Clarifications
2.4 It is clarified that the ban on the use of vehicles will equally apply to the vehicles
in or from any States not going to the polls but whose vehicles are attempted
to be used for campaign either openly or clandestinely in any other state going
to poll. The Chief Secretary of each State/Union Territory/the Secretary to the
Government of India in the concerned Department, as the case may be, will be
personally responsible for any misuse of any vehicle under Ministry/Department
or of any of the public sector or joint sector undertakings or Autonomous
Bodies or attached offices under that Ministry/Department. The officers under
whose charge such vehicles are entrusted will also be equally responsible for any
violation.
It is further clarified that use of such vehicles belonging to any of these authorities
by anyone, including Ministers of the Central or State Government, even on
payment basis, for campaigning or on tours connected with elections with
the alleged and bogusly certified purpose of official work in their capacity as
Ministers is totally prohibited.

Exception
2.5 The only exception from the above said prohibition will be Prime Minister
and other political personalities, who might, in view of extremist and terrorist
activities and threat to their lives, require security of a high order and whose
security requirements are governed by any statutory provisions made by the
Parliament or the State Legislature in this behalf.
The above restrictions shall also not apply in the case of the President and Vice-
President of India, Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha and Deputy
Chairman of Rajya Sabha and such other dignitaries visiting the State from other
States. However, it is further clarified that in the case of Speaker and Deputy
Speaker of Lok Sabha and Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha these restrictions
will be applicable at the time of General Elections to the Lok Sabha as in respect
of any Ministers of the Union or any State Government.

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(a) The Commission would like to make it clear that if it has any material
to doubt that the assessment of security requirements made by authorities
under Special Protection Group Act, 1988 or any other special enactment/
instruction of the Government have been manifestly or unduly excessive
with the intention of promoting indirectly the electoral interests of a
particular party or candidate, the Commission will bring the matter to
the notice of the concerned Government for immediate and appropriate
corrective steps.
(b) For this purpose, the Commission may call for any information from the
Central Government or the State Government concerned with regard to
the assessment of the security requirements made in respect of any such
personality. Such information shall be furnished to the Commission by the
concerned Government forthwith.
(c) If security requirement of a person, as assessed by security agencies, requires
him to travel in bulletproof vehicle, only one such vehicle may be provided
by the government on payment of cost of propulsion of such vehicle by
such person. In such bullet proof vehicle, no other political leader/worker
(except his personal/medical attendant) shall be allowed to travel.

Restriction on convoy of vehicles


2.6 Vehicles shall, under no circumstances, be allowed to move in convoys of more
than ten vehicles, excluding the security vehicles. All bigger convoys exceeding
ten vehicles shall be broken up and a gap of 100 mtrs would be maintained, even
if they are carrying any Minister of Central or State Government or any other
person. This shall, however, be subject to any security instructions issued by the
competent authority in respect of any such individual.
If any vehicle moves in a convoy of vehicles exceeding the limits prescribed
above, in spite of the convoy having been broken, it shall be the duty of the local
administration to ensure that such vehicles are not allowed to be used by flouting
the Commission’s direction, till the process of election is completed.

Use of vehicles during filing of nominations:


2.7 The maximum number of vehicles that will be allowed to come within the
periphery of 100 meters of Returning Officers’/ Assistant Returning Officers’

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office on behalf of any candidate who comes to file his nomination paper
in a procession/convoy of vehicles shall be three. It is also clarified that this
periphery of 100 meters should clearly be demarcated by RO/DEO. It is also
directed that only one door shall be kept open for entry of candidate +4 other
authorized persons and all other doors should be closed. A CCTV camera should
be placed at the entry door to record actual time of entry.

Use of vehicles for electioneering purposes:


2.8 There is no limit on vehicles, which a candidate may use for electioneering
purposes.
2.9 But before the campaigning commences, the candidate shall have to furnish
the details of all such vehicles and the areas in which they would be used for
campaign purposes, to the District Election Officer or such other Officer(s) as
may be specifically authorized by the District Election Officer in this behalf,
who after necessary scrutiny would issue a permit to the candidate in respect
of each such vehicle. The original copy (not the photo copy) of permit should
be displayed on the wind screen of the vehicle. Needless to mention that the
permit should be of such dimension, that it can easily be seen from a distance.
Permit must contain the number of the vehicle, date of issue of permit, name of
candidate and the area (where it shall be used for campaigning).
2.10 Any further deployment of any additional vehicles can take place only after notice
to this effect is given by the candidate or his/her agent and permits obtained for
the same, before the actual deployment of the vehicles.
2.11 The details so obtained from the candidate should be conveyed by District
Election Officer to the Election Expenditure Observer(s) so that they can check
whether the expenditure in this regard is correctly included in the expenditure
account of the candidate.
2.12 If the vehicle for which permission is given to a particular candidate is found
being used for campaign purpose by or for another candidate, then the permission
has to be withdrawn and the vehicle is to be seized by or under the authority of
DEO.
2.13 If the candidate, after obtaining permission from the District Election Officer,
does not intend to use the campaign vehicle(s), for any period of more than
two days, he/she shall intimate to the District Election Officer, to withdraw the
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permission for such vehicle(s). If the candidate, after obtaining permission does
not intimate the District Election Officer, to withdraw the permission of such
vehicle(s), it will be presumed that the candidate has used the permitted vehicles
for campaign purpose and accordingly, the expenditure as per the notified rates
on use of such vehicles shall be added to his/her account of election expenses.
2.14 Any vehicle used for campaigning without due authorization/permit by the
aforesaid officers, shall be deemed to be unauthorisedly campaigning for the
candidate and may attract penal provisions of chapter IX A of the Indian Penal
Code and shall, therefore, be immediately taken out of the campaigning exercise.
2.15 The vehicles employed for election campaign as per intimation given by the
candidates or their election agents to the District Administration should not be
requisitioned by the administration.
2.16 For availing the benefit of clause (a) of Explanation (1) given under Sec. 77 (1)
of R. P. Act, 1951 by the leaders of the political parties, i.e. star campaigners,
the permission for the mode of road transport will be issued centrally by Chief
Electoral Officer, irrespective of whether the same vehicle is to be used by any
such leader for election campaigning throughout the State or different vehicles
are to be used by such party leaders in different areas. The permit in such cases
will be issued against the name of the star campaigner concerned and shall need
to be displayed prominently on the windscreen of the vehicle being used by him/
her in any area. The permits so issued by the CEO will be of distinctly different
colour from the permits to be issued by the DEOs for other campaign vehicles
of candidates.
2.17 On receipt of a request from a recognized political party, the DEO would issue
permit for one vehicle to be used by the district level office bearer of the recognized
party (other than the star campaigners) for his visit to multiple ACs within the
district for electioneering purpose. The permit should be issued indicating the
number of the vehicle, the name of political leader and the period for which
issued and should be of different colour so that it can easily be identified. An
attested copy of the permit shall be pasted on wind screen and original kept
with the driver for checking by police or other authorities. The expenditure in
this regard shall be booked against the political party and not the candidates.
If such vehicles are used for election campaign of any particular candidate/
candidates then the expenditure should be added to the account of candidate(s)

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appropriately.
2.18 The CEO may issue permits for vehicles that can move throughout the state
for use of office bearers of recognized political parties for party work. For states
having more than 100 Assembly Constituencies, the CEO may issue permits
for a maximum of five vehicles and for remaining States/UTs for a maximum of
three vehicles to a recognized political party. The expenditure on these vehicles
shall be incurred by the political party and not by the candidate. If such vehicles
are used for election campaign for any particular candidate(s), then expenditure
should be added to the account of the candidate(s) appropriately.
2.19 If any political party makes a request to the Chief Electoral Officer for grant of
vehicle permission for distribution of publicity material to their various party
offices in the State, the Chief Electoral Officer may grant permission for one
vehicle for a recognized political party (National/State). However, the concerned
political party (the applicant) will have to specify the names of the Districts,
the route map and the dates for which the vehicle will be required for the above
purpose. For such vehicles, the CEO may issue permission, but ensure that
such vehicles will also be subjected to normal checks and they will not be used
for election campaigning. The expenditure on account of such vehicle shall be
incurred by the political party and not by the candidate.

Clarification
2.20 A cycle rickshaw is also a vehicle as defined in Section 160 of Representation of
People Act, 1951, which may be used for election campaign. If it is being used,
then a candidate has to account for its expenditure in his account of election
expense. To ensure this, the candidate should give details of such rickshaws being
used for his election campaign and, if the rickshaw does not have any Municipal
registration/permit for its identification, the rickshaw driver may be given a permit
in his personal name by the District Election Officer which the rickshaw driver
should carry on his person while using that rickshaw for campaign purposes.
However, rickshaws being used for normal commercial purposes of carrying
passengers in ordinary course, etc., may be exempted, if they are displaying only
one poster showing the name or party symbol of a candidate, presuming they are
doing so on their own free will.
2.21 During the period of electioneering, with a view to checking misuse of private

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vehicles by the candidates, their agents and party leaders and/or party supporters
for carting anti-social elements so as to create a sense of fear in the minds of
the electorate and/or to smuggle illicit arms and ammunition etc. with a view
to creating disturbances during elections, the Commission further directs that
the District Administration shall keep a close watch on the vehicles used by
persons accompanying the contesting candidates and their party’s leaders for any
possible mischief, including criminal activities like carrying of illegal arms and
weapons. If any of these vehicles, either of a party or a private owner, is found
to be involved in any such act or for carting anti-social elements with a view to
intimidating or creating terror in the mind of the electorate, it shall be the duty
of the local administration to impound such vehicles and not to release them till
the process of elections is completed. In addition, criminal action against the
owner, the occupants(s) and the candidate/political party which is involved in
such illegal activities shall also be taken as per law.
(Please refer to ECI’s instruction in letter number 464/INST/2014-EPS dated
10.4.2014 - Annexure I)
2.22 Use of vehicles on poll day
The use of vehicles on the day of poll is regulated by Paras 26 to 31 of the
Commission’s letter No. 464/INST/2014-EPS dated 10.4.2014 (Annexure I).
The ECI’s instructions in the said letter No. 464/INST/2014-EPS, dated 10th
April, 2014, inter-alia, provide for restraints on unlawful use of vehicles on
poll day by candidates/his agent or by any other person with the consent of the
candidate or his election agent. For the purpose of restrictions imposed by said
instructions it is clarified that the vehicle would mean all the vehicles propelled
by mechanical power or otherwise.
2.23 Video-vans (see Annexure 2)
In case of Video Vans, etc., to be used by a political party for campaign across the
state, before any permission to use Video-Vans for campaign is given, it should
be ensured by Chief Electoral Officer that such use of vehicle is in accordance
with the Motor Vehicle Act. Attention in this context is invited to the judgments
dated 23.06.2006 and 14.02.2007 of the Hon’ble Allahabad High Court in Writ
Petition No. 3648 (MB) of 2006, which inter-alia, lay down necessary guidelines
for compliance by the State Government while dealing with vehicles plying on

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road till State Legislature/Parliament legislates law to provide for some severe
punishments to the offenders. The District Election Officers shall ensure that
expenditure incurred on such vehicles is proportionately distributed amongst the
expenditure of the contesting candidates of the party in the areas/constituencies
where the Vans/Vehicles have been used.
It is further clarified that
(i) The permission to use Video-Vans for campaign purpose can be granted
at Chief Electoral Officer level only. Transport Nodal Officer must
submit certificate to the Chief Electoral Officer that the Video-Van is in
conformity with the Motor Vehicle Act.
(ii) The contents of material for election publicity on the Video-Van shall
be pre-certified from Media Certification and Monitoring Committees
(MCMCs). The Video-Van of the political party should be used to
propagate programme and policies to seek votes. Votes or support for
any particular candidate should not be solicited. However, if it is used
for seeking votes/support for a candidate/candidates then expenditure
of Video-Van shall be accounted for by such candidate/candidates
appropriately. Expenditure Observers to closely monitor this.
(iii) Any party/candidate seeking permission to use Video-Vans from Chief
Electoral Officer should first obtain necessary permission/no objection
certificate from the Competent Authority under the Motor Vehicle Act.
This certificate is required to ensure the conformity with the Motor
Vehicle Act/relevant provisions of law and Court Orders, if any, on this
subject for plying of Video-Van on the road.
(iv) Though there is no restriction on the number of Video-Van which can
be used in a campaign, but the expenditure for it shall be duly included
in the Election Expenditure Account of the party, to be submitted to ECI
after election, and also apportioned appropriately among the candidates
concerned as provided in sub-Para (ii) above.
(v) Route of Video-Van to be used for publicity/campaigning should be
informed to local administration/District Election Officer in advance.
In case of violation, the permission for video van may be withdrawn,
after due notice, by CEO.

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ANNEXURE- XIV
(CHAPTER – 13 USE OF NATIONAL FLAG/PARTY FLAGS/PARTY BANNERS)

ECI letter No. 509/35/2014-RCC, dated 04.03.2014 addressed to the President/General


Secretary/Chairperson of all recognised National and State Political Parties and copy endorsed
to the Chief Electoral Officers of all States/UTs.
Subject: In the Allahabad High Court at Lucknow Bench-W.P. (PIL-Civil) (B) No.
603 of 2014-Pratap Chandra Vs. Union of India & others.
I am directed to forward herewith a copy of the Order dated 30/01/2014 passed
by the Hon’ble High Court of Allahabad at Lucknow Bench on the issue of use of National
flag in rallies of political parties. The relief claimed in the petition was for a direction
to the respondents (Central Government, State Government of Uttar Pradesh, Election
Commission and State Election Commission) not to allow the use of national flag in
rallies of political parties. The Hon’ble High Court of Allahabad disposed of the petition
with the observation that there is no prohibition of proper use of national flag by political
parties in rallies and that it is the bounden duty of the authorities concerned to ensure
strict compliance and observation of the provisions of the Flag Code and the provisions
of Emblem and names (Prevention of Improper use) Act, 1950 and the Prevention of
insults to National Honour Act 1971.
The above said Order of the Hon’ble High Court may be noted and also brought
to the notice of the cadres of the party at all level to ensure that there is no violation of
the provisions of the Flag Code and the Acts mentioned in the Order.
Kindly acknowledge receipt.

COPY
Legalix – Allahabad High Court Judgment Information System (Judgment/Order in
text Format)
This is an UNCERTIFIED copy for information/reference. For authentic copy please
refer to certified copy only. In case of any mistake, please bring it to the notice of Deputy
Registrar(Copying).
HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD, LUCKNOW BENCH
Court No.2
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Case:-MISC. BENCH No.-603 of 2014


Petitioner:- Pratap Chandra (P.I.L.)
Respondent:- Union of India Through Secretary Ministry of Home & Others
Counsel for Petitioner:- Vijay Kumar Pandey
Counsel for Respondent:- C.S.C., A.S.G., Aprajita Bansal, Manish Mathur

Hon’ble Imtiyaz Murtaza, J.


Hon’ble Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya, J.
Heard Sri Vijay Kumar Pandey, learned counsel for the petitioner, Sri K.C.
Kaushik, Assistant Solicitor General of India for respondent no.1, Sri Manish Mathur
for respondent no.2, learned Chief Standing Counsel for respondent no.3 and 4 and Ms.
Aprajita Bansal for respondent no.5.
Through the instant Public Interest Litigation, a direction has been sought to be
issued to the respondents not to allow the use of the National Flag in any particular rallies
of any political parties.
For proper use of the National Flag, Flag Code of India has been notified by
the Government of India, wherein certain provisions have been made. According to
paragraph 2.1. of the said Code, there is no restriction in display of National Flag by
members of general public, private organisations, educational institutions etc., except to
the extent provided in the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950
and Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971 or any other law enacted for the
said purpose.
The Flag Code specifically prohibits the use of National Flag for commercial
purpose in violation of the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act,
1950. It also clearly envisages that the Flag shall not be dipped in salute to any person
or thin and further that the Flag shall not be flown at half-mast except on occasions
on which the Flag is flown at half-mast on public buildings in accordance with the
instructions issued by the Government. There are certain other instructions in the Flag
Code.
The Flag Code and other enactments referred to hereinabove have been
promulgated for their strict observance. We may also refer that any contravention of the
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provisions of the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950, attracts
penal action.
On a specific query being put to the learned counsel for the petitioner, as to
whether there is any prohibition for proper use of National Flag by the political parties,
he could not satisfy the Court. However, he stated that it is the bounden duty of the
State authorities to ensure that the national flag is used only in proper manner and
in accordance with the provisions contained in the Flag Code of India as also in the
enactment, namely, the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950
and the provisions of the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971. Needless
to say that in order to preserve the honour and respect attached to the National Flag,
it is the bounden duty of the authorities concerned to ensure strict compliance and
observance of the provisions of the Flag Code of India and the legislations, as referred to
hereinabove. We hope and expect that strict compliance thereof shall be ensured by all
concerned.
With the aforesaid observation, the petition is disposed of finally.

Order Date:- 30.1.2014


MFA/-

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ANNEXURE- XV
(CHAPTER – 14 USE OF LOUDSPEAKERS)

Election Commission’s letter No.3/8//2000 J.S.II dated 26.12.2000 addressed to the


Chief Electoral Officers of all States and Union Territories.
Subject: Use of Loudspeakers for election campaigns- Consolidated instructions
All political parties, candidates and their workers, supporters and sympathizers
are using loudspeakers for their electioneering campaigns. These loudspeakers are not only
used from fixed rostrums but are also used mounted/fitted on vehicles like trucks, tempos,
cars, taxis, vans, three wheeler scooters, cycle rickshaws, etc. These vehicles move on
all roads, streets and lanes and also so around villages, basties, Mohallas, colonies and
localities with the loudspeakers broadcasting at very great volume. This results in serious
‘noise pollution’ and causes great disturbance to the peace and tranquility of the general
public. The student community, in particular, gets seriously disturbed as their studies are
badly hampered because the loudspeakers stall blaring from very early hours in the
morning and continue to do so throughout the day and till extremely late hours in the
night. The aged, the infirm and the sick whether in institutions, hospitals, etc. or at home
are also put to severe discomfort.
2. The Commission is aware that the use of loudspeakers cannot be stopped
altogether during the election period as the loudspeakers are one of the
means of election propaganda and imparting information to public. But. at
the same time, indiscriminate and unfettered use of loudspeaker at odd hours
and at odd places at very high volumes which have the effect of disturbing
peace and tranquility and causing annoyance to the general public, the sick,
and the student community in particular cannot be permitted. Some reasonable
restrictions are essential.
3. After considering all aspects of the matter, the Commission, in exercise of its
powers conferred by Article 324 of the Constitution and all other powers enabling
it in this behalf and in supersession of its earlier instructions, hereby DIRECTS
that the use of loudspeakers at all future elections shall be strictly regulated as
follows:-
(i) The use of loudspeakers, whether fitted on vehicles of any kind whatsoever,
or in static position used for public meetings for electioneering purposes,
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during the entire election period starting from the date of announcement
of election and ending with the date of declaration of results shall be
permitted only (a) between 6.00 a.m. and 11.00 p.m in rural areas i.e.
areas outside corporation or municipal Limits: and (b) between 6.00
a.m. and 10.00 p.m. in other areas, i.e. areas falling within corporation
or municipal limits. (This para has been substituted vide Election
Commission’s letter No.3/8/2005/JS-II, dated 26th September, 2005
reproduced at Item No.184 as under:-
“3(i) A public address system or loudspeaker or any sound amplifier,
whether fitted on vehicles of any kind whatsoever, or in static position,
used for public meetings for electioneering purposes, shall not be used at
night between 10.00 p.m. and 6.00 a.m.”
(ii) All loudspeakers whether used for general propaganda or for public meetings
or procession, and whether used on moving vehicles or otherwise, shall be
used during the restricted hours only mentioned in clauses (ii) above and
never beyond.
(iii) All loudspeaker being used beyond the hours as prescribed above, shall
be confiscated along with all the apparatus connected with the use of these
loudspeakers.
(iv) All political parties, candidates and any other persons using any
loudspeakers on moving vehicles including but not restricted to trucks,
tempos, cars, taxis, vans, three wheeler scooters, cycle rickshaws, etc. shall
intimate the registration identification number of those vehicles to the
authorities granting permission to use the loudspeakers and such registration
identification numbers of the vehicles shall be indicated on the permits
granted by the authorities concerned.
(v) Any vehicle on which a loudspeaker is used without the said written
permit shall be confiscated forthwith along with the loudspeaker and all
the apparatus used along with it.
(vi) All political parties, candidates and even other person using an\ loudspeaker
either on a moving vehicle or at a fixed place shall intimate -
(1) the Returning Officer of the Constituency, and

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(2) local Police authorities, in writing, the full details of the permits
obtained by them before using any of those loudspeakers. In the case
of mobile loudspeakers, the registration identification numbers of the
vehicles shall also be registered by them with the Returning Officer and
the local Police authorities.
(vii) It shall be the responsibility of the State Government authorities granting
permits for use of loudspeakers and the local Police authorities to strictly
enforce that no loudspeaker is used by anyone in violation of any of the
above directions,
4. No loudspeakers fitted on vehicles of any kind or in any other manner whatsoever
shall be permitted to be used during the period of 48 hours ending with the hour
fixed for the conclusion of the poll in any polling area. Even after the close
of poll proper law and order is required to be maintained till completion of
election after the declaration of result. Use of loudspeakers is generally regarded
as source of public nuisance and can often give rise to tension in a politically
surcharged atmosphere. The District Administrations should, therefore,
consider any application for permission to use loudspeakers after the aforesaid
prohibitory period of 48 hours, on merit of each application and keeping in
view the need to maintain proper law and order till the completion of election.
5. The above directions of the Commission, which will check noise pollution
and disturbance of public peace and tranquility must be scrupulous-
implemented and strictly enforced by all State government authorities
concerned. Any violation there of will be viewed by the Commission with
grave concern and will invite severe disciplinary action against the defaulting
officers.
6. A copy of this order shall be made available to local units of all recognized
National and State parties in English/Hindi and in local official languages,
and 10 each candidate at the time of his nomination, under acknowledgement.
7. The receipt of this letter should be acknowledged immediately.

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ANNEXURE- XVI
(CHAPTER – 16 DEFACEMENT OF PUBLIC/PRIVATE PROPERTY)

Election Commission’s letter No.437/6/1/ECI/INST/FUNCT/MCC/2017, dated


25.10.2017 addressed to Cabinet Secretary, Chief Secretary and CEO of Gujarat
Subject: Immediate action to be taken for enforcement of Model Code of Conduct
after announcement of General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Gujarat-
regarding.
I am directed to state that the Election Commission has announced the schedule
for holding General Election to Legislative Assembly of Gujarat, operation of ‘MODEL
CODE OF CONDUCT’ comes into effect with the announcement of elections by the
Commission. In view of the general election to the Legislative Assembly of Gujarat, the
Commission has given following directions for effective enforcement of provisions of
MCC:-
1. Defacement of Property- ECI instructions contained in letters, No. 437/6/
INST/2015-CCS, dated 29th December, 2015, No. 437/6/INST/2012-
CC&BE dated 18th January, 2012 and No. 3/7/2008 JS-II dated 7th October,
2008 , provide for prevention of defacement of property. The Commission has
directed to ensure strict compliance of its instructions and to take time bound
action as prescribed below-
(a) Defacement of Government property- For this purpose a Government
premise would include any Government office and the campus wherein the
office building is situated. All wall writing, posters/papers or defacement
in any other form, cutout/hoardings, banners, flags etc, on Government
property shall be removed within 24 hours from the announcement of
elections
(b) Defacement of public property and misuse of public space- All
unauthorized political advertisement, in the form of wall writing/posters/
papers of defacement in any other form, cutout/hoardings, banners flags
etc. at public property and in public space like railway station, Bus stands,
Airports, railway Bridges, Roadways, Govt. Buses, Electric/Telephone poles
, municipal/local bodies’ buildings etc., shall be removed within 48 hours
from the announcement of elections by the Commission.

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(c) Defacement of private property- All unauthorized political advertisement


displayed at private property and subject to local law and court’s directions,
if any, shall be removed within 72 hours from the announcement of
elections by the Commission.
2. Misuse of official vehicle- The ECI’s Consolidated instructions contained in
letter No. 464/INST/2014/EPS, dated 10th April 2014, among other things,
provides that there shall be a total ban on use of official vehicle by any
political party, candidate or any other person connected with election (except
officials performing any election related official duty) for campaigning,
electioneering or election related travel during elections (subject to certain
exception mentioned therein). The expression official vehicle means and shall
include , any vehicle used or capable of being used for the purpose of transport,
whether propelled by mechanical power or otherwise and will include trucks,
lorries, tempos, jeeps, cars, auto rickshaws, e-rickshaws, buses, belonging
to Central Government, State Government/UT Administrations, public
undertakings of Central/State Government, Join sector undertakings of Central/
State Government, local bodies, municipal corporations, marketing boards,
cooperative societies or any other body in which public funds , however small a
portion of the total, are invested. The CEOs/DEOs shall take necessary action
for compliance of ECI instructions within 24 hrs of the announcement of
the elections.
3. Advertisement at the cost of public exchequer- ECI instructions contained
in letters, No. 437/6/1/2014-CC&BE, dated 5th March, 2014 provides that
at the cost of public exchequer in the newspapers and other media and the
misuse of official mass media during the election period for partisan coverage of
political news and publicity regarding achievements with a view to furthering the
prospects of the party in power shall be scrupulously avoided. No advertisements
shall be issued in electronic and print media highlighting the achievements of
the Govt. at the cost of public exchequer. If any advertisement has already been
released for telecast/broadcast or publication in the print media, it must be
ensured that the telecast/broadcast of such ads on electronic media is stopped
forthwith and that no such ad is published in any newspapers, magazines, etc.,
i.e. in print media, from the date of announcement and it should be immediately
withdrawn. The CEOs/DEOs has to take immediate action to remove/stop
any advertisement , in the print/electronic media, showing the achievements

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of the Government soon after the announcement of elections.


4. Photograph of political functionary at official website- ECI instruction
contained in letter No. 437/6/INST/2014-CC&BE dated 20th March, 2014
provides that all references of Ministers, Politicians or political parties available
on central/state Government’s official website, shall be removed. The CEOs
have to take immediate action to remove/hide the photographs of any political
functionary from official websites of state department.
5. Development/construction related activities- within 72 hours of
announcement of elections, the CEO/DEO shall obtain the following list of
works for reference in case of validating any complaint on violation of MCC:
(i) List of work which has already been started on ground.
(ii) List of fresh work which has not started on ground.
6. Activities for Expenditure Monitoring and enforcement of MCC- Flying
squad, FST, video team, intensive checking for liquor/Cash/Contra banned
drugs, flying squads of excise department to check illicit trafficking of Drug/
Narcotics to be immediately activated after announcement.
7. Complaint Monitoring System- The poll going states shall have a complaint
redressal mechanism based on website and call center. The toll free number of
call center is 1950. Complaints can be registered by making calls to the toll free
call center numbers or on the web site. Complainants will also be informed of the
action taken by SMS and by the call center. Complainants can also see the details
of the action taken on their complaints. This system should be operational
within 24 hours of the announcement . All complaint should be dealt with
promptly and properly. The 24x7 control Room at the district level must be
activated and sufficient deployment of manpower and other logistics be ensured
in particular, round the clock personnel should be deployed in the control room
and their duty roaster must be issued to avoid any evasion or confusion.
8. IT Application- All IT applications including official website and social media
shall be operational with the announcement.
9. Dissemination of information for Awareness of Voters and political parties.
Publicity of major election activity would be given through CEO/DEO/RO. For
this purpose, all necessary information shall be disseminated through radio, tv,

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cinema. Government channel to display voter education material.


10. Active cooperation from Educational Institution and Civil Societies-
Cooperation can be sought from educational institution and civil societies for
giving wide publicity to the election related information to the general public
and other stakeholders.
11. Media Centre- Effort should be made for awareness among the voters, political
parties and other stakeholder through media center about election system
including use of EVM/VVPAT.
12. MCMC/DEMC- ECI instruction contained in letter no. 491/MCMC/2014/
Communication dated 24th March, 2014 provides that all registered political
parties will approach the Media Certification and Monitoring Committees
(MCMC) at District and State level, as the case may be, for pre-certification
of their political advertisements proposed to be issued on electronic media.
The Commission has directed to ensure strict compliance of its instructions
contained in above said letter.
13. Control Room- The 24x7 control room at district level must be activated
immediately and sufficient deployment of manpower and other logistics
be ensured by the DEO/CEO. A control room with complaint Monitoring
Centre would also be set up at ECI Secretariat during the entire election
process.

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Enclosure-I
Election Commission’s letter No. 437/6/INST/2012-CC&BE dated 18th January, 2012
addressed to Cabinet Secretariat, the Chief Secretaries and the Chief Electoral Officers
of all States and UTs.
Subject- Prevention of defacement of Property and other campaign related items
revised instructions - regarding.
I am directed to state that on the announcement of the General Elections to the Legislative
Assemblies of the States of Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand,
the provisions of Model Code of Conduct have come into force w.e.f. 24th December,
2011. The Commission has decided to reiterate its instructions issued vide its letter no.
3/7/2008/JS-II dated 7th October, 2008 (copy enclosed) contained in Para 5 under the
heading ‘DEFACEMENT OF PRIVATE PLACES’, as under: -
Sub-para (d) “Subject to any restrictions under any local law or any court orders in
force, the political parties, candidates, their agents, workers and supporters may put
up banners, buntings, flags, cut-outs, on their property, provided they do so on their
own volition, voluntarily and without any pressure from any party, organization or
person, and provided further that these do not cause any inconvenience in any
manner to anyone else. If such display of banners, flags etc. aims to solicit vote
for any particular candidate, then the provisions of Section 171H of IPC would
be attracted and would have to be followed. Section 171H of the IPC stipulates
that whoever without the general or special authority in writing of a candidates
incurs or authorizes expenses on account of the holding of any public meeting or
upon any advertisement, circular or publication, or in any other way whatsoever
for the purpose of promoting or procuring the election of such candidates, shall be
punished with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees: Provided that if any
person having incurred any such expenses not exceeding the amount of ten rupees
without authority obtains within ten days from the date on which such expenses
were incurred the approval in writing of the candidate, he shall be deemed to have
incurred such expenses with the authority of the candidate.”

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Enclosure-II
Election Commission’s letter No.3/7/2008/JS-II dated 7th October, 2008 addressed to
the Secretary to the Govt. of India, MHA, the Chief Secretaries and the Chief Electoral
Officers of All States and Union Territories.
Sub: Prevention of defacement of property and other campaign related items –
revised instructions- regarding.
I am directed to invite a reference to the Commission’s letter No.3/7/2007/JS-II,
dated 16th October, 2007, regarding prevention of defacement of property in connection
with election campaign.
2. In the past, the Commission has suggested the enactment of special laws by
state governments for dealing with defacement of properties effectively. Some
states have enacted special legislations to govern and regulate defacement of
property, While the other states have legislation that either only cover specific
areas, like municipalities etc., or have no legislation at all. A tabular statement
on respective positions obtaining in the states in this respect based on the
information available in the Commission is enclosed in the schedule appended
to this circular (marked as Annexure-I). Since a uniform law throughout the
country is not available, what is enforceable differs from state to state. Keeping
in view the forthcoming general election to the Lok Sabha due in 2009, it has
become necessary to lay down, for smooth conduct of campaign during elections
and for clear understanding of all authorities who have the responsibility for the
implementation at the field level as also of the observers who are deputed to
oversee the elections in different states/constituencies, a comprehensive set of
guidelines with respect to defacement of property.
3. After considering all aspects of the matter in depth, the Commission has, in
supersession of the earlier instructions, laid down the following directions,
to be followed by political parties, candidates, individuals and organizations etc.
during the election period:

DEFACEMENT OF PUBLIC PLACES


4 (a) No wall writing, pasting of posters/papers or defacement in any other
form, or erecting/displaying of cutouts, hoardings, banners, flags etc. shall be
permitted on any Government premise (including civil structures therein). For

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this purpose a Government premise would include any Govt. office and the
campus wherein the office building is situated.
(b) If the local law expressly permits or provides for writing of slogans,
displaying poster, etc., or erecting cut-outs, hoardings, banners, political
advertisement, etc., in any public place (as against a Govt. premise) on
payment or otherwise, this may be allowed strictly in accordance with
the relevant provisions of the law and subject to Court orders, if any on
this subject. It should be ensured that any such place is not dominated/
monopolized by any particular party(ies) or candidate(s). All parties and
candidates should be provided equal opportunity in this regard.
(c) If there is a specifically earmarked place provided for displaying advertisements
in a public place, e.g. bill boards, hoardings etc. and if such space is already
let out to any agency for further allocation to individual clients, the District
Election Officer through the municipal authority concerned, if any, should
ensure that all political parties and candidates get equitable opportunity to
have access to such advertisement space for election related advertisements
during the election period.

DEFACEMENT OF PRIVATE PLACES


5. (a) In the States where there is no local law on the subject, and subject to the
restrictions under the law where there is a law, temporary and easily removable
advertisement materials, such as flags and banners may be put up in private
premises with the voluntary permission of the occupant. The permission should
be an act of free will and not extracted by any pressure or threat. Such banner
or flag should not create any nuisance to others. Photo-copy of the voluntary
permission in writing obtained in this connection should be submitted to the
Returning Officer within 3 days of putting up the flags and banners in such cases
in the manner prescribed in sub-para(c) below.
(b) If the local law does not expressly permit wall writing, pasting of poster, and
similar other permanent/semi-permanent defacement which is not easily
removable, the same shall not be resorted to under any circumstances, even
on the pretext of having obtained the consent of the owner of the property.
This will also apply in the states where there is no local law on the subject
of prevention of defacement of property.

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(c) Where the local law expressly permits wall writings and pasting of posters,
putting up hoardings, banners, etc. on private premises with the owner’s
permission, the contesting candidates or the political parties concerned
shall obtain prior written permission from the owner of the property and
submit photocopies of the same within 3 days to the Returning Officer or an
officer designated by him for the purpose, together with a statement in the
enclosed proforma (marked as Annexure-2). The statement in such cases
and in the cases mentioned in sub-para (a) above should clearly mention
therein the name and address of the owner of the property from whom such
permission has been obtained together with expenditure incurred or likely
to be incurred for the purpose. Nothing inflammatory or likely to incite
disaffection amongst communities shall be permissible in such writings/
display. The expenditure incurred in this mode on specific campaign of
candidate(s) shall be added to the election expenditure made by the
candidate. Expenditure incurred on exclusive campaign for a party without
indicating any candidate shall not be added to candidate’s expenditure.
The contesting candidate shall furnish such information village/locality/
town-wise, to the Returning Officer, or the authorized officer within 3 days
of obtaining the requisite permission, for easy checking by the Returning
Officer or the Election Observer or any officer connected with the conduct
of elections.
(d) Subject to any restrictions under any local law or any court orders in force,
the political parties, candidates, their agents, workers and supporters may
put up banners, buntings flags, cut-outs, on their own property, provided
they do so on their own volition, voluntarily and without any pressure from
any party, organization or person, and provided further that these do not
cause any inconvenience in any manner to anyone else. If such display of
banners, flags etc. aims to solicit vote for any particular candidate, then
the provisions of Section 171H of the IPC would be attracted and would
have to be followed. Section 171H of the IPC stipulates that whoever
without the general or special authority in writing of a candidate incurs
or authorizes expenses on account of the holding of any public meeting,
or upon any advertisement, circular or publication, or in any other way
whatsoever for the purpose of promoting or procuring the election of such
candidate, shall be punished with fine which may extend to five hundred

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rupees: Provided that if any person having incurred any such expenses not
exceeding the amount of ten rupees without authority obtains within ten
days from the date on which such expenses were incurred the approval in
writing of the candidate, he shall be deemed to have incurred such expenses
with the authority of the candidate.

DEFACEMENT OF HALLS/AUDITORIUMS AND OTHER PUBLIC


PROPERTIES
6. In the case of Halls/Auditoriums/Meeting venues owned/controlled by the
Government/local authorities/PSUs/Cooperatives, if the law/guidelines
governing their use do not preclude political meetings therein, there is no
objection to it. It shall be ensured that the allocation is done on equitable basis
and that there is no monopolization by any political party or candidates. In such
venues, displaying of banners, buntings, flags, cut-outs, may be permitted during
the period of meetings subject to any restrictions under the law/guidelines in
force. Such banners, flags, etc. shall be got removed by the party/individual who
used the premises immediately after conclusion of the meeting, and in any case
within a reasonable period after the meeting is over. Permanent/Semi-Permanent
defacement such as wall writing/pasting of posters etc. shall not be permitted in
such premises.
7. If any political party/association/candidate/person indulges in defacement of
any property in violation of the local law, if any, or the above instructions, the
Returning Officer/District Election Officer shall issue notice to the offender for
removing the defacement forthwith. If the political party/association/candidate/
person does not respond promptly, the district authorities may take action
to remove the defacement, and the expenses incurred in the process shall be
recovered from the political party/association/candidate/person responsible
for the defacement. Further, the amount also shall be added to the election
expenditure of the candidate concerned, and action should also be initiated
to prosecute the offender under the provisions of the relevant law (under the
law relating to prevention of defacement, if any, or under the provisions of the
general law for causing willful damage to the property of others).

DEFACEMENT OF VEHICLES
8. (a) In private vehicles, subject to the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act,

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Rules thereunder and subject to court orders in force, if any, flags and stickers
may be put on the vehicles by the owner of the vehicle on his own volition,
in such a manner that they do not cause any inconvenience or distraction to
other road users. If such display of flags and stickers aims to solicit vote for any
particular candidate, then the provisions of Section 171H of the IPC would be
attracted and would have to be followed.
(b) On commercial vehicles, display of any flag, sticker etc. shall not be
permitted, unless such vehicle is a vehicle validly used for election campaign
after obtaining the requisite permit from the District Election Officer/
Returning Officer and the display thereof in original on the wind screen.
(c) External modification of vehicles including fitting of Loudspeaker thereon,
would be subject to the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act/Rules and any
other Local Act/Rules. Vehicles with modifications and special campaign
vehicles like Video Rath etc., can be used only after obtaining the requisite
permission from the competent authorities under the Motor Vehicles Act.

OTHER CAMPAIGN RELATED ITEMS


9. Subject to accounting for the expenditure, the following may be permitted:-
(a) In processions and rallies etc., flags, banners, cutouts etc. can be carried
subject to local laws and prohibitory orders in force;
(b) In such procession, wearing of party/candidate supplied special accessories
like cap, mask, scarf etc. may be permitted. However, supply of main
apparels like saree, shirt, etc. by party/candidate is not permitted.
(c) Educational institutions including their grounds {whether Govt. aided,
private or Govt.} shall not be used for political campaigns and rallies.
10. The Chief Electoral Officers are requested to bring the directions of the
Commission to the notice of the District Election Officers, Returning Officers
and all other election related authorities, and all political parties in the State,
including State units of recognized National and State parties, and all registered
un-recognized parties based in the State, and also the contesting candidates (at
the time of elections) for information and compliance.
11. Please acknowledge receipt of this letter. The Chief Electoral Officers may kindly
confirm that action as required above has been taken.

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Annexure-1

Defacement of Properties – Law


Sl. Name of State/ Name of Act/Rule Extent of applicability
No. UT
1. Andhra The Andhra Pradesh Prevention It extends to the entire
Pradesh of Disfigurement of Open Places State.
and Prohibition of Obscene
and Objectionable Posters and
Advertisements Act, 1997
2. Arunachal The Arunachal Pradesh Prevention It extends to the entire
Pradesh of Defacement of Property Act, State.
1997.
3. Bihar The Bihar Prevention of It extends to the entire
Defacement of Property Act, 1985. State.
4. Chhattisgarh No separate law/Act framed It extends to the entire
by the State. But the Madhya State.
Pradesh Sampatti Virupan Nivaran
Adhiniyam, 1994 is applicable in
the state.
5. Goa The Goa Prevention of It extends to the entire
Defacement of Property Act, State.
1988 as amended vide Act of
1992 and 2001.
6. Haryana The Haryana Prevention of It extends to the entire
Defacement of Property Act, State.
1989 as amended vide Act of
1996.

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7. Himachal The Himachal Pradesh Open Places It extends to the entire


Pradesh (Prevention of Disfigurement) Act, State and come into force
1985. in the areas comprised
in the Municipal
Corporation of Shimla at
once and shall come into
force in the remaining
part of the State on such
date as the State Govt.
may by notification,
appoint.
8. Jharkhand No separate law/Act but the Bihar It extends to the entire
Prevention of Defacement of State.
Property Act, 1985 is applicable in
the state.
9. Jammu & The Jammu & Kashmir Prevention It extends to the entire
Kashmir of Defacement of Property Act No. State.
XIX of 1985.
10. Karnataka The Karnataka Open Places It extends to Bangalore,
(Prevention of Disfigurement) Act, Mysore, Hubli, Dharwar,
1981 as amended vide Act of 1983. Mangalore and Belgaun
constituted or continued
under the Karnataka
Municipal Corporation
Act – 1976, or under any
other law on 05.05.81
and come into force
in the Municipalities,
notified areas, sanitary
Boards, constituted or
continued under the
Karnataka Municipalities
Act – 1964, or under any
other law, or in any other
local area, on such date,
as the State Government
may by notification
appoint.

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11. M a d h y a The Madhya Pradesh Sampatti It extends to the entire


Pradesh Virupan Nivaran Adhiniyam, 1994. State.
12. Maharashtra Maharashtra Act No. VIII of Nothing is specifically
1995 – regarding prevention of mentioned about the
Defacement of Property. extent of applicability.
13. Mizoram The Mizoram Prevention of It extends to the entire
Defacement of Property Act, State.
1995.
14. Nagaland The Nagaland Prevention of It extends to the notified
Defacement of Property Act, areas constituted under
1958. the Assam Tribal Areas
(Administration of Tow
Committee) regulation
1950, in any other local
area or areas, on such
date, as the State Govt.
may by notification may
appoint.
15. Punjab The Punjab Prevention of It extends to the entire
Defacement of Property Act, State.
1998.
16. Sikkim The Sikkim Prevention of It extends to the entire
Defacement of Property Act, State.
1988.
17. Tamil Nadu The Tamil Nadu Open Places It extends to the entire
(Prevention of Disfigurement) Act, State.
1959, as amended vide Act of 1992.

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18. Tripura The Tripura Prevention of It extends to the entire


Defacement of Property Act, State and shall apply
1976 in conjunction with Tripura in the first instance
(Prevention of Defacement of to municipal limits of
Property) Amendment Bill, 1998 Agartala Town, but
now in force in the State. the State Govt. may
from time to time by
notification in the official
Gazette, apply to such
other local areas or areas
as may be specified in the
notification.
19. Uttarakhand The Uttaranchal Prevention of It extends to the entire
Defacement of Public Property State.
Act, 2003
20. Andaman & The Andaman & Nicobar Islands It extends to the entire
Nicobar Prevention of Defacement of Union Territory of the
Property Regulation, 1987. Andaman and Nicobar
Islands.
21. C h a n d i g a r h The West Bengal Prevention of It extends to the entire
UT Defacement of Property Act, State.
1976 has been made applicable in
Chandigarh UT.
22. Delhi The West Bengal Prevention of It extends to the entire
Defacement of Property Act, 1976 State.
was made applicable in Delhi. (A
separate act is under consideration).
23. Pondicherry The Pondicherry Open Places It extends to whole of the
(Prevention of Disfigurement) Act, Union Territory of the
2000. Pondicherry.

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States in which there is no specific Law on the subject of Prevention of Defacement of


Property

Sl. No. Name of State/UT


1. Assam No law/Act
2. Gujarat No law/Act
3. Kerala No law/Act
4. Manipur No law/Act
5. Meghalaya No law/Act
6. Orissa No law/Act
7. Rajasthan No specific law on the subject but there is a provision
in Section 198 of Rajasthan Municipalities Act, 1959
that without the consent of the owner or occupier and
in case of Municipal property, without the permission
in writing of the board, affixing any poster, bill,
placard or other paper or means of advertisement is
punishable with fine which may extend to twenty
rupees.
8. Uttar Pradesh No law/Act
9. West Bengal There earlier West Bengal Prevention of
Defacement of Property Act, 1976, (West Bengal
Act XXI of 1976). This Act has since been repealed.
10. Dadra & N. Haveli No law/Act
11. Daman and Diu No law/Act
12. Lakshdweep No law/Act

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Annexure-2
Statement showing the details of wall-writings/posters/hoardings/banners,
etc. displayed by Shri/Smt./Ms……………………………………….,
contesting candidate in ……………………………………………….
Parliamentary Constituency/ Assembly Constituency Name of the Village/Town/
Locality…………………………………………………..

S. Name and address Details of Wall-Writing or Expenditure incurred or


No. of the owner of the Hoardings or Banners or likely to be incurred on
private property Poster (Size of wall writing/ the wall-writing/hoarding/
from whom hoarding/banner/ poster banner/posters, etc. (Rs.)
written permission shall be indicated
has been obtained

Total

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ENCLOSURE-III
Election Commission’s letter No. 464/INST/2014/EPS dated: 10th April, 2014 addressed
to the Chief Electoral Officers of all States/Union Territories.
Sub: General Election to the Lok Sabha, 2014 - Consolidated Instructions on use
of vehicles during elections - regarding.
With a view to ensuring level playing field for all candidates and other stake holders
and further to check the vitiating role of money and misuse of official machinery. The
Commission has issued in the past a number of instructions on the above cited subject
for sake of clarity and easy reference, the same have been consolidated and are being re-
issued for compliance and guidance during all General/Bye elections to the Lok Sabha,
State Legislative Assemblies and all Biennial/Bye elections from Graduates’ and Teacher’s
constituencies of Legislative Councils.
Period of applicability-
2. These instructions shall come into effect from the date of announcement of
elections till the completion of elections.
Meaning of ‘Official Vehicle’
3. The expression ‘official vehicle’ means, and shall include, any vehicles used
or capable of being used for the purpose of transport, whether propelled by
mechanical power or otherwise and will include trucks, lories, tempos, jeeps, cars,
auto rickshaws, e-rickshaws, buses, belonging to the (i) Central Government,
(ii) State Governments/UT Administrations, (iii) Public Undertakings of the
Central and State Governments, (iv) Joint Sector Undertakings of Central
and State Governments, (v) Local Bodies, (vi) Municipal Corporations,
(vii) Municipalities, (viii) Marketing Boards (by whatever name known), (ix)
Cooperative Societies, (x) Autonomous District Councils or any other body in
which public funds, howsoever small a portion of the total, are invested and
also include those belonging to the Ministry of Defence and the Central Public
Organizations under the Ministry of Home Affairs and State Governments.
Directions of ECI
4. The Commission directs that, subject to exceptions mentioned herein,
there shall be a total and absolute ban on the use of official vehicles for
campaigning, electioneering or election related travel during elections.

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There shall be a total prohibition on the use of any vehicles such as helicopters,
aircrafts, (except as regulated by the Commission’s order on the subject) cars, jeeps,
automobiles, boats, hovercrafts, etc., belonging to the (i) Central Government,
(ii) State Government/UT Administration (iii) Public Undertakings of the
Central and State Governments, (iv) Joint Sector Undertakings of the Central
and State Governments, (v) Local Bodies, (vi) Marketing Boards, (vii) Co-
operative Societies, (viii) Autonomous District Councils or any other body in
which public funds, howsoever small portion of the total, are invested for any
purpose connected with the elections, by any political party, candidate or any
other person connected with election (except officials performing any election
related official duty).
5. The Commission further directs that the District Administration shall keep a
close watch to find out if any official vehicle belonging to any authority specified
in the preceding para is being used for electioneering purpose. In case it is so, the
District Magistrate shall, forthwith, requisition or cause to be requisitioned such
vehicles, after following due procedure. For election work, under Section 160 of
the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and such requisitioned vehicles shall
not be released until after the completion of the process of election.
Clarifications
6. It is clarified that the ban on the use of vehicles will equally apply to the vehicles
in or from any States not going to the polls but whose vehicles are attempted
to be used for campaign either openly or clandestinely in any other State going
to poll. The Chief Secretary of each State/Union Territory/the Secretary to the
Government of India in the concerned Department, as the case may be, will be
personally responsible for any misuse of any vehicle under Ministry/Department
or of any of the public sector or joint sector undertakings or Autonomous
Bodies or attached offices under that Ministry/Department. The Officers under
whose charge such vehicles are entrusted will also be equally responsible for any
violation.
7. It is further clarified that the use of such vehicles belonging to any of these
authorities by anyone, including Ministers of the Central or a State Government,
even on payment basis, for campaigning or on tours connected with elections but
with the alleged and bogusly certified purpose of official work in their capacity as
Ministers is totally prohibited.

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Exception
8. The only exception from the prohibition will be the Prime Minister and other
political personalities, who might, in view of extremist and terrorist activities
and threat to their lives, require security of a high order and whose security
requirements are governed by any statutory provisions made by the parliament
or the State Legislative in this behalf.
9. The above restrictions shall also not apply in the case of the President and Vice-
President of India. Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha and Deputy
Chairman of Rajya Sabha and such other dignitaries visiting the State from other
States. However, it is further clarified that in the case of Speaker and Deputy
Speaker of Lok Sabha and Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha these restrictions
will be applicable at the time of General Elections to the Lok Sabha but not
during LA election. It is also clarified again that such exceptions shall not be
made in respect of any Ministers of the Union or any State Government.
10. (a) The Commission would like to make it clear that if it has any material to doubt
that the assessment of security requirements made by the authorities under
Special Protection Group Act, 1988 or any other special enactment/instruction
of the Government have been manifestly or unduly excessive with the intention of
promoting indirectly the electoral interests of a particular party or candidate. The
Commission will bring the matter to the notice of the concerned Government
for immediate and appropriate corrective steps.
10. (b) For this purpose, the Commission may call for any information from the Central
Government or the State Government concerned with regard to the assessment
of the security requirements made in respect of any such personality. Such
information shall be furnished to the Commission by the concerned Government
forthwith.
Restriction on convoy of vehicles
11. The Commission further directs that cars/vehicles shall, under no circumstances,
be allowed to move in convoys of more than ten vehicles, excluding the security
vehicles. All bigger convoys exceeding 10 (ten) vehicles shall be broken up, even
if they are carrying any Minister of Central or State Government or any other
person. This shall, however, be subject to any security instructions issued in
respect of any such individual.

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12. If any person moves in a convoy of vehicles exceeding the limits prescribed
above, in spite of the convoy having been broken, it shall be the duty of the
local administration to ensure that such vehicles are not allowed to be used by
flouting the Commission’s directions, till the process of election is completed.

During Filing of Nomination:
13. The maximum number of vehicles that will be allowed to come within the
periphery of 100 meters of Returning Officers/Assistant Returning Officers
office shall be three.
Use of vehicles for electioneering purpose
14. There is no limit on vehicles, which a candidate may use for electioneering
purposes.
15. But before the campaigning commences, he shall have to furnish the details of
such vehicles and the areas in which they would be used for campaign purposes,
to the District Election Officer or such other officer(s) as may be specifically
authorized by the District Election Officer in this behalf, who after necessary
scrutiny would issue a permit. The original copy (not the photo copy) of permit
should be displayed on the wind screen of the vehicle. Needless to mention
that the permit should be of such dimension, that it can easily be seen from a
distance. Permit must contain the number of the vehicle, date of issue of permit,
name of candidate and the area (where it shall be used for campaigning).
16. Any further deployment of any additional vehicles can take place only after notice
to this effect is given by the candidate or his/her agent and permits obtained for
the same, before the actual deployment of the vehicles.
17. The details so obtained should be conveyed by District Election Officer to the
Election Expenditure Observers so that they can check that the expenditure in
this regard is correctly included in the expenditure account of the candidate.
18. Any vehicle used for campaigning without due authorization/permit by the
aforesaid officers, shall be deemed to be unauthorisedly campaigning for the
candidate and may attract penal provisions of Chapter IX A of the Indian Penal
Code and shall therefore be immediately taken out of the campaigning exercise.
19. The vehicles employed for election campaign as per intimation given by the
candidates or their election agents to the District Administration should not be

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requisitioned by the administration.


20. For availing the benefit of clause (a) of explanation (1) given under sec. 77 (1)
of R.P. Act, 1951 by the leaders of the political parties, i.e., star campaigners.
The permission for the mode of road transport will be issued centrally by the
Chief Electoral Officer, irrespective of whether the same vehicle is to be used by
any leader for election campaigning throughout the State or different vehicles
are to be used by such party leaders in different areas. The Permit will be issued
against the name of the star campaigner concerned and shall need to be displayed
prominently on the windscreen of the vehicle being used by him/her in any
area. The permits so issued by the CEO will be of distinctly different colour
from the permits to be issued by the DEOs/ROs for other campaign vehicles of
candidates.
21. On receipt of a request from a recognized political party, the DEO would issue
permit for one vehicle to be used by the district level office bearer of a recognized
party (other than the star campaigner) for their visit to multiple ACs within the
district for electioneering purposes. The permit should be issued indicating the
number of the vehicle. The name of political leader and the period for which
issued and should be of different colour so that it can easily be identified. An
attested copy shall be pasted on wind screen and original be kept with the driver
for checking by police or other authorities. The expenditure in this regard shall
be booked against the political party and not the candidates.
22. The CEO may issue permits for vehicles that can move throughout the State for
use of officer bearers of recognized political parties for electioneering purposes
only. For the States having more than 100 Assembly Constituencies, the CEO
may issue permits for a maximum of five vehicles and for remaining States/UTs,
for a maximum of three vehicles to a recognized political party. The expenditure
on these vehicles shall be incurred by the political party and not by the candidate.
23. If any political party makes a request to the Chief Electoral Officer for grant of
vehicle permission for distribution of publicity material to their various party
offices in the State, the Chief Electoral Officer may grant permission for one
vehicle for a recognized political party (National/State). However, the concerned
political party (the applicant) will have to specify the names of the Districts,
the route map and the dates for which the vehicle will be required for the above
purpose. For such vehicles, the CEO may issue permission, but ensure that

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such vehicles will also be subjected to normal checks and they will not be used
for election campaigning. The expenditure on account of such vehicle shall be
incurred by the political party and not by the candidate.
24. In case of Video-Vans etc. to be used by a political party for campaign across the
States, before any permission to use Video- Vans for campaign is given, it should
be ensured by Chief Electoral Officer that such use of vehicle is in accordance
with the Motor Vehicle Act. Attention in this context is invited to the judgments
dated 23.06.2006 and 14.02.2007 of Allahabad High Court in Writ Petition
No. 3648 (MB) of 2006.
Clarification
25. A cycle rickshaw is also a vehicle as defined in Section 160 of Representation of
People Act, 1951, which may be used for election campaign. If it is being used,
then a candidate has to account for its expenditure in his account of election
expenses. To ensure this, the candidate should give details of such rickshaws being
used for his election campaign and, if the rickshaw does not have any Municipal
registration/permit for its identification, the rickshaw driver may be given a
permit in his personal name by the Returning Officer which the rickshaw driver
should carry on his person while using that rickshaw for campaign purposes.
However, rickshaws being used for normal purposes of carrying passengers in
ordinary course etc. may be exempted, if they are displaying only one poster
showing the name or party symbol of a candidate, presuming they are doing so
on their own free will.
Use of vehicles on poll day
26. Section 123(5) of the Representation of the people Act, 1951 provides that
the hiring or procuring or use of vehicles by a candidate/his agent or by any
other person with the consent of the candidate or his election agent for the free
conveyance of the voters to and fro from the polling station shall be a ‘corrupt
practice’ and it is also an electoral offence punishable under section 133, with
fine which may extend to five hundred rupees.
27. With a view to placing effective curbs on this practice, the Commission issues
the following directions:
(A) For an election to the House of the People, each contesting candidate, on
the day of poll, will be entitled to:

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(a) One vehicle for his own use in respect of the entire constituency;
(b) In addition, one vehicle for use of his election agent in the Parliamentary
Constituency;
(c) In addition, on vehicle for use of his election agent or workers or party
worker, as the case may be, in each of the assembly segments comprised
in the Parliamentary Constituency,
(B) For an election to the State Legislative Assembly, on the date of poll in that
Constituency each contesting candidate is entitled to:
(a) One vehicle for his own use;
(b) One vehicle for the use of his election agent;
(c) In addition, one vehicle for use of his workers or party workers.
Clarification
28. It is clarified that, henceforth, the candidate or his agent or party workers or
workers will be allowed to use only four/three/two wheeler vehicles i.e cars (of
all types) taxies, auto rickshaws, rickshaws and two wheelers. In these four wheel
vehicles not more than 5 persons including driver will be allowed to move on
the day of poll. It is further clarified that on the day of poll no other person will
be allowed to use the vehicle allotted for candidate’s or his election agent’s use.
However, the candidate or his election agent may be accompanied in his car by
other persons subject to 5 including driver.
29. The permits for the vehicles indicated above will be issued by the District
Magistrate/Returning Officer. The candidates must furnish particulars of their
vehicle to be used on poll day to DEO/RO concerned and shall display the
permits issued on the wind-screen of the vehicles. No other vehicles shall be
allowed to be used by the leaders of the political parties including Ministers,
workers, agents and sympathizers of any candidate. No exception shall be made,
irrespective of the status of the candidate.
Meaning of vehicle
30. The aforementioned restrictions shall apply all vehicles propelled by mechanical
power or otherwise, including but not restricted to taxies, private cars, trucks,
tractors with or without trailers, auto-rickshaws, e-rickshaws, scooters, mini

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buses, station wagons etc., also, and shall be made applicable for a period of 24
hours before the time fixed for closure of poll and till the completion of poll.
31. Penal action, both under the provisions of the R.P. Act, 1951 and chapter IX
A of the Indian Penal Code shall be taken against anyone offending the above
directions, in addition to action under the Motor Vehicles Act. All vehicles being
used in violation of these directions shall be confiscated.
Exception
32. There is no intention on the part of the Commission to put a complete ban on
all vehicular traffic on the polling day and thereby create difficulties or cause
harassment to the public. For genuine bonafide use for purposes other than
election, the following types of vehicles shall also be allowed to be plied on the
day of poll and there will be no exception:
(a) Private vehicles being used by the owners for their private use, not connected
with elections;
(b) Private vehicles being used by owners either for themselves or for member
of their own family for going to the polling booth to exercise their franchise,
but not going anywhere within a radius of 200 meters of a polling station;
(c) Vehicles used for essential services namely hospital vans, ambulance, milk
vans, water tankers, electricity emergency duty vans, police on duty, officers
on election duty;
(d) Public transport carriages like buses plying between fixed terminal and on
fixed routes;
(e) Taxis, three wheeler scooters, rickshaws etc. for going to airports, railway
station, interstate bus stands, hospital for journeys which cannot be avoided;
(f ) Private vehicles used by sick or disabled persons for their own use;
(g) Vehicles being used by the Govt. officers on duty to reach their duty point.
33. During the period of electioneering, with a view to checking misuse of private
vehicles by the candidates/their agents and party leaders and/or party supporter
for carting anti-social elements so as to instill a sense of fear in the minds of
the electorate and/or to smuggle illicit arms and ammunition etc. with a view
to creating disturbances during elections, the Commission further directs that

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the District Administration shall keep a close watch on the vehicles used by
persons accompanying the contesting candidates and their party’s leaders for any
possible mischief, including criminal activities like carrying of illegal arms and
weapons. If any of these vehicles, either of a party or a private owner, is found
to be involved in any such act or for carting anti-social elements with a view to
intimidating or creating terror in the mind of the electorate, it shall be the duty
of the local administration to impound such vehicles and not to release them till
the process of elections is completed. In addition, criminal action against the
owner, the occupant(s) and the candidate/political party which is involved in
such illegal activities shall also be taken as per law.
Please inform all concerned and ensure compliance.

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ENCLOSURE-IV
Election Commission letter No.491/MCMC/2014/Communication, dated
24thMarch,2014 addressed to Chief Electoral Officers of all States and UTs
Sub: Certification of advertisement of political nature on electronic media– reg.
I am directed to refer to the Commission order issued vide its letter dt
15.04.2004(copy enclosed) on the subject cited and which was issued consequent upon
Hon’ble Supreme Court Order dt 13.04.2004. In para 5 of the said Commission’s
order it was directed that every registered National and State political party and every
contesting candidate proposing to issue advertisement on television channel and/or cable
network will have to apply to the Election Commission/Officer designated by Election
Commission not later than three days prior to the date of proposed commencement
of the telecast of such advertisement and such application shall be accompanied by
two copies of the proposed advertisement in electronic form along with a duly attested
transcript thereof.
The Commission accordingly appointed Media Certification and Monitoring
Committee (MCMCs) and district level and state level and all registered National and
State political parties approach these MCMCs, as the case may be, for the certification of
their political advertisements proposed to be issued on electronic media (which includes
TV channels, Cable network, Radio including private FM channels, Cinema Halls,
audio visual displays at public places and Internet) by following the Commission’s said
Order as specified above.
Now, for the purpose of further for facilitating political parties/candidates the
Commission has relaxed para 10 (i) of the said order, decided that apart from adopting
the existing procedure, the political parties/candidates, if they desire so, may also follow
the alternative procedure by first submitting the transcript of the proposed advertisement
for certification and once the transcript is vetted/approved by the Committee the
party/candidate will submit the final product in electronic form another time for final
certification.
2. In such case the time line for each stage will be as per the existing order.
3. This may brought to the notice of all the MCMCs in the districts and states.
Considering that the work of MCMC is likely to increase, proportionately
additional support staff may be suitably deployed with the Committee.

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ANNEXURE- XVII
(CHAPTER – 18 ELECTION MANIFESTOS)

ECI letter No. 437/6/Manifesto/2013 dated 19.02.2014 addressed to the President/


General Secretary/Chairperson of All recognised National and State political parties.
Sub: Judgment dated 5.7.2A13 of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in SLP ( C) No.
21455 of2008 and TC No. 112 of 2011 -S.Subramaniam Balaji Vs. Govt. of TN&
Others-framing of guidelines for election manifestos- FINAL GUIDELINES - reg.
I am directed to refer to this office letter of even number dated 3lst January 2014
forwarding therewith a set of draft guidelines on election manifestos for inclusion in the
model code of conduct wherein it has requested that all recognized National and State
political Parties may offer their comments on the said draft guidelines by 07th February
2014. Having considered the suggestions/comments received from the political Parties
and having regard to the directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court mentioned above,
the Commission has finalized the guidelines on Election Manifestos which have now
been included as Part VIII of the Model Code of Conduct for the Guidance of the
Political parties and Candidates. These guidelines will, henceforth, be applicable and
implemented as a part of the Model Code of Conduct for all future elections. A copy of
the full text of the Model Code of Conduct for the Guidance of Political Parties and
Candidates including Part VIII on Election Manifestos is enclosed for your information.
You are requested to bring this to the notice of all concerned for their information and
compliance.

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ANNEXURE- XVIII
(CHAPTER – 19 MODEL CODE AND GOVT. OFFICIALS)

Election Commission’s letter No. 464/INST/2008/EPS, Date: 23rd December, 2008.


Addressed to the Chief Electoral Officers of all States and Union Territories.
Subject:- Tracking the names of officers transferred by the order of the Election
Commission of India charged with dereliction of duty etc.
Ref: No. 437/6/2006-PLN.III dated 6th November, 2006 &ECI message No.
100/1994- PLN.I dated 28.3.1994 addressed to the CEOs of all States & UTs.
The Election Commission of India vide the instruction referred to above had
directed that a detailed review shall be undertaken before every election in all districts
and all such officers should be posted out of their home districts or district where they
have completed a tenure of 3 years out of 4 years, and had further directed that officers/
officials against whom Commission has recommended disciplinary action or who have
been charged for any lapse in election or election related work or who were transferred
under the orders of the Commission in the matter may not be assigned to any election
related duty.
However, it was observed during recent elections that in spite of efforts made by
the CEOs and the DEOs to comply the above instruction of the Commission, there were
still some instances of the officers who come under the above criteria and liable to be
transferred out of the district to a non-election related assignment but related assignment
but managed to say back and the Commission came to know about this only at a later
stage through complaints being raised by various political parties and members of public.
These incidents, though few in numbers, send a wrong signal at the field level and non-
maintenance of proper information about the officers liable to be transferred on the
above criteria has been recognized as a reason for some stray incidents of non-compliance.
In order to remove the possibility of the occurrence of such incidents in future, the
Commission has issued the following directions to make the existing instruction more
effective:-
I. The CEO of the State shall maintain a register in which the information
about IAS/IPS officers, DEOs, ROs and EROs transferred by the order of
the Election Commission and against whom Commission has recommended
disciplinary action or who have been charged for any lapse in election or
election related work shall be maintained.

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II. Similarly, the DEO will maintain a register containing information about
other junior officers and other staff.

III. Within 7 days of the announcement of elections by the Election Commission


of India the CEO of the State will send a compliance letter to the Zonal
Secretary in the Commission confirming that all the officers coming under
the above citeria have been transferred. Similarly he shall obtain a similar
compliance certificate from all the DEOs confirming that all the offices/
staff coming under the above criteria have been transferred to non-election
related assignment and out of the district.
IV. With reference to transfer of officers coming under ‘3 years out of 4 years
criteria’ and the home district criteria, DEOs shall ensure compliance
in respect of ROs, EROs, AROs, and AEROs and other election related
officials and send a letter to CEO within the time, if any, stipulated for this
purpose by the Election Commission of India or CEO and if not, within 7
days of issue of press note announcing the elections. Similarly, information
related to DEOs, SSP and SPs and other senior police officials connected
with the election work shall be maintained by the CEO and compliance
by the State Govt. shall be ensured at his level Compliance regarding the
transfer of these officers shall be collected from the DEOs and the CEO
of the State shall send a consolidated letter of compliance to the Zonal
Secretary within 7 days of the announcement of election.
V. To facilitate the submission of this compliance letter within 7 days of the
announcement of election, the CEO and DEO shall collect the information
and ensure maintenance of register as stated above well in advance so that
no time is lost.
VI. There are many departments in the State Government that are involved
in transferring officials and thereby accountable for the compliance of
the above instructions of the Commission. The Commission’s instruction
regarding transfer of the officials during election shall be brought to be
notice of the Secretaries of the departments concerned with a copy to the
Chief Secretary. The Secretary may be requested by the CEO to ensure that
all the departments concerned comply with the Commission’s instruction
well in time.
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VII. With regard to bye-elections while the officers coming under the category,
dealt within Para marked as (I) Shall be transferred out of the district within
three days of announcement of bye-election and certainly before the first
days of receipt of nomination whichever is earlier.
VIII. The above instruction be followed without any deviation.

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ANNEXURE- XIX
(CHAPTER – 19 MODEL CODE AND GOVT. OFFICIALS)

DECLARATION

(To be submitted within 2 days after the last date of nomination papers)

I……………….(Name)…………..presently posted …………….from…....……….


(Date Do hereby make a solemn declaration, in connection with the current General/
Bye election to Lok Sabha/……………(Legislative Assembly that……………..
(a) I am not a close relative of any of the contesting candidates in the
current election/leading political functionary of the state/district at the
aforesaid election.
(b) No criminal case is pending against me in any court of law.
Note- If answer of (a) or (b) above is ‘YES’, then give full details in a separate sheet.

Dated…………….. (Name)
Designation

Dated…………….. (Name)
Designation

NOTE- Any false declaration made by any officer shall invite appropriate disciplinary
actions.

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ANNEXURE- XX
(CHAPTER – 21 MODEL CODE DURING BIENNIAL ELECTIONS)

No. 322/ECI/INST/FUNC/BIEN-LC /2016 Dated: December, 2016

To
The Chief Electoral Officers
1. Maharashtra, Mumbai,
2. Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow,
3. Bihar, Patna,
4. Karnataka, Bangalore,
5. Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad.
6. Telangana, Hyderabad.
Subject: Biennial/Bye-Elections to the Legislative Councils from Council Constituencies
- by Graduates’ and Teachers’ and Local Authorities’ Constituencies - MCC-
instructions - regarding.
Sir,
I am directed to state that experience during conduct of elections to Legislative
Councils shows that there is lack of clarity with regard to applicability of provisions of
Model Code of Conduct in such elections. The Commission constituted a Working
Group to examine the matter. The Commission, having considered the report of the
Working Group and the matter in its entirety, has directed that all provisions of Model
Code of Conduct for the political parties and candidates’ shall apply mutatis mutandis
in Biennial including Bye Elections to the State Legislative Councils from Graduates’ &
Teachers’ Constituencies as well as Local Authorities’ Constituencies. Consequently, the
various instructions issued by the Commission from time to time in clarification of the
MCC provisions would also apply for such elections.
2. I am further to say that the following instructions of the Commission which
have been issued from time to time to ensure level playing field and also to

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ensure that a party in power doesn’t misuse its position for electoral gains,
shall also be applicable in connection with Biennial/Bye Elections to the State
Legislative Councils from Graduates’ & Teachers’ Constituencies as well as Local
Authorities’ Constituencies (from the date of announcement of election till the
date of completion of election).
I. Ministers, whether Central or State (including Chief Minister) may make
official visit to any district(s) in which any Biennial/Bye-election from a
Council Constituency is being held subject to the following conditions: -
a. They shall not do any inauguration/laying of foundation stones of
any educational institution, which are constituents of Graduates’ and
Teachers’ Constituencies.
b. Official visit shall not be combined with the election related work/
tours.
c. There shall be no announcement of new policy programme/ policy
likely to influence the graduates, the teachers and members of Local
Authorities who form the electorate of the Constituencies going to
poll.
II. No official of any rank of the district(s) dealing with election related work
where the biennial/bye-elections are being held shall be called to attend
any meeting by any Minister at any place, even in another district, where
election is not being held. Any official who meets the Minister on his private
visit to the constituency where elections are being held shall be deemed to
be guilty of misconduct under the relevant service rules; and if he happens
to be an officer mentioned in Section 129 (1) of the Representation of
People Act, 1951, he shall also be additionally considered to have violated
the statutory provisions of that section and liable to penal action provided
there under.
III. No member of any Local Authority which forms part of the electorate of
a Local Authorities’ Constituency shall be called for any meeting/video
conference by any Minister (in his capacity as Minister). Routine meetings
of the Local Bodies, when essential, may be held with the prior permission
of the District Election Officer of the District concerned.
IV. No pilot car(s) or other car(s) with beacon lights of any colour or car(s)

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affixed with sirens of any kind making his presence conspicuous shall be
used by any Minister during his private visit to the constituency, even if the
State administration has granted him a security cover requiring presence of
armed guards accompanying him on tour.
V. No policy announcement or programme, which influences the electorate
either directly or indirectly, shall be initiated in the Government Departments
till the completion of elections.
VI. On need basis and in consultation with CEO of the state/ECI Observer,
the DEO/RO should put in place for every tehsil a special video team to
videograph political meeting at public places and to record visits of the
Ministers and other important political functionaries. The ECI observer
shall see the video recording in the evening of the same day so that he can
report any violation to the Commission in prescribed format.
VII. In case of elections from Local Authorities’ Constituencies, the restrictions
on “Official Tours” by Central & State Ministers will also be applicable to
the use of any “Official Cars” by “Office Bearers” of Local Authorities, like,
Mayors of Municipal Corporations, Presidents of Municipal Councils &
Zilla Parishads. The use of official cars by them shall only be allowed for
travel to & from Office to Residence.
VIII. Public places such as maidans etc., for holding election meetings, and
use of helipads for air-flights in connection with elections shall not be
monopolized by the party in power. Other parties and candidates shall also
be allowed to use them on first-cum-first served basis.
IX. No fresh Sanction of work using the IT Platform to be used depending upon
the MP/MLA/MLC schemes for work that would amount to influencing
the electorate.
X. There shall be a total ban on the transfer of Returning Officers and Assistant
Returning Officers appointed for Biennial elections/bye-elections to State
Legislative Councils after the announcement of elections and this ban will
be in force till the completion of elections. The transfer orders in respect
of the above officers issued prior to the date of announcement but not
implemented should not be given effect to without obtaining the specific
permission of the Commission. In those cases, where transfer of an officer is

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necessary on account of administrative exigencies, the State Govt. may with


full justification approach the Commission for prior clearance.
XI. In order to conduct free and fair elections to keep a check on adverse role of
money power and to check the movement of black money during biennial
elections/bye-elections to Legislative Council, the Standard Operating
Procedure (SOP) issued on 29.05.2015, excepting deployment of Static
Surveillance Teams, should be made applicable.
XII. State and District Media Certification and Monitoring Committee (MCMC)
shall be appointed, as prescribed in the Compendium of Instructions
on Election Expenditure Monitoring, immediately on announcement
of biennial/ bye elections for pre-certification of election advertisements
as in case of TV Channels / Cable Network, Radio including private FM
Channels, Cinema Halls, Audio-Visual displays in public place and social
media and also monitoring the general conduct of political functionaries
during campaign.
XIII. The bulk SMSs/Voice messages on phone in election campaigning
shall also be in the purview of pre-certification of election advertisements
as in case of TV Channels / Cable Network, Radio including private FM
Channels, Cinema Halls, Audio-Visual displays in public place and social
media. The legal provisions, as applicable to other modes of electronic
media shall also be applicable to bulk SMSs/ Voice messages.
XIV. Under Section 29 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 read with
Rule 69 of the Conduct of the Election Rules, 1961, a place of poll is fixed
for conducting poll in respect of election to the Council of States and the
State Legislative Councils by MLAs. As per Section 135C, “dry day” is to
be declared in Polling Areas and polling area is defined in Section 25 of the
Representation of the People Act, 1951, which is applicable to elections
from Constituencies i.e. for elections to Lok Sabha, Legislative Assemblies
and elections to Legislative Councils from Graduates’, Teachers’ and Local
Authorities’ Constituencies.
XV. The provision regarding prevention of misuse of vehicles and regulation
of convoys during campaign period as in the case of elections to House
of People / Legislative Assemblies shall be made applicable for Council
elections also.
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XVI. Restriction on the presence of political functionaries in a constituency


after the campaign period is over i.e., 48 hours before the closure of the poll
as in the case of elections to House of People / Legislative Assemblies shall
be made applicable for Council elections from Council Constituencies also.
3. In the context of certain queries that have been raised in this connection, it is
clarified that: -
(a) The practice of keeping the electors in hotels/resorts and other similar
places during election period would amount to bribing of electors. It is
clarified that such practice shall be construed as violation of sub Para (4) of
Para I-General Conduct of MCC apart from being violation of Section 171
B of IPC.
(b) The phrase ‘the rest houses/dak bunglows or other Government
accommodation’ in paragraph (VII- (iii)) of MCC would also include Guest
Houses of all institutions that are getting Government assistance in any form
of grant-in-aid etc.
(c) With regard to paragraph (VII-(v) & (vi)) of MCC, it is clarified that these
would be made applicable only with regard to the Graduates’/Teachers’/
Local Authorities’ Constituencies where the election is being held.
Kindly inform all concerned including all registered and recognized parties based in your
state.
Please ensure compliance.

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ANNEXURE- XXI
(CHAPTER – 22 MISCELLANEOUS)

ECI letter No. 437/6/CG/2014/CC&BE, dated 27.03.2014 addressed to the Secretary to


the Government of India, Ministry of Defence.
Subject: 1. Permission for routine procurement of 6400 MT edible oil amounting to
Rs.65.77 crore for the troops for which tendering activity was held on 31st January,
2014.
2. Permission for routine procurement of the already approved quantities of scaled
ration items for the troops for this year and for next year as approved the respective
CFAs-reg.
I am directed to refer to your D.Os. No. 1/ACDP/2013-PAO each dated
26th March, 2014, on the subject cited above, and to state that the Model Code of
Conduct is not applicable to any matter pertaining directly to the defence forces, be it
the recruitments/promotions for defence forces, all service matters pertaining to them,
defence purchases of all kinds, tenders relating to the matter of the defence forces and
consequently no reference need to be sent to the Commission pertaining to model code
in these matters.
These instructions shall be treated as standing instructions of the Commission
and will be applicable for all elections in future. This may be brought to the notice of all
concerned for future guidance.
Accordingly the two references cited are covered under these instructions and
you may take action accordingly.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


(FAQ)

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Q.1. What is the Model Code of Conduct?


Ans. The Model Code of Conduct for guidance of political parties and candidates is a
set of norms which has been evolved with the consensus of political parties who
have consented to abide by the principles embodied in the said code and also
binds them to respect and observe it in its letter and spirit.
Q. 2. What is the role of Election Commission in the matter?
Ans. The Election Commission ensures its observance by political party(ies) in power,
including ruling parties at the Centre and in the States and contesting candidates
in the discharge of its constitutional duties for conducting the free, fair and
peaceful elections to the Parliament and the State Legislatures under Article
324 of the Constitution of India. It is also ensured that official machinery for
the electoral purposes is not misused. Further, it is also ensured that electoral
offences, malpractices and corrupt practices such as impersonation, bribing and
inducement of voters, threat and intimidation to the voters are prevented by all
means. In case of violation, appropriate measures are taken.
Q. 3. From which date the Model Code of Conduct is enforced and operational
upto which date?
Ans. The Model Code of Conduct is enforced from the date of announcement of
election schedule by the Election Commission and is operational till the process
of elections are completed.
Q. 4. What is applicability of code during general elections and bye-elections?
Ans. a. During general elections to House of People (Lok Sabha), the code is
applicable throughout the country.
b. During general elections to the Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha),
the code is applicable in the entire State.
c. During bye-elections, in case the constituency is comprised in State
Capital/Metropolitan Cities/Municipal Corporations, then the code
would be applicable in the area of concerned Constituency only. In all
other cases the MCC would be enforced in the entire district(s) covering
the Constituency going for bye-election(s).

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Q.5. What are the salient features of the Model Code of Conduct?
Ans. The salient features of the Model Code of Conduct lay down how political
parties, contesting candidates and party(s) in power should conduct themselves
during the process of elections i.e. on their general conduct during electioneering,
holding meetings and processions, poll day activities and functioning of the
party in power etc.

ON OFFICIAL MACHINERY
Q.6. Whether a Minister can combine his official visit with electioneering work?
Ans. No
The Ministers shall not combine their official visit with electioneering work
and shall not also make use of official machinery or personnel during the
electioneering work however, the Commission has exempted the Prime Minister
from the operation of the model code of conduct provision pertaining to the
combining of official visit with electioneering visit.
Q.7. Whether Govt. transport can be used for electioneering work?
Ans. No transport including official air-crafts, vehicles etc. shall be used for furtherance
of the interest of any party or a candidate.
Q.8. Whether Govt. can make transfers and postings of officials who are related
to election work?
Ans. There shall be a total ban on the transfer and posting of all officers/officials
directly or indirectly connected with the conduct of the election. If any transfer
or posting of an officer is considered necessary, prior approval of the Commission
shall be obtained.
Q.9. Suppose an officer related to election work has been transferred by the Govt.
before enforcement of model code of conduct and has not taken over charge
at new place. Can such officer take over charge of office at new place after
announcement of the code?
Ans. No
Status-quo-ante shall be maintained.

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Q.10. Whether a Minister of Union or State can summon any election related
officer of the constituency or the State for any official discussion during the
period of elections?
Ans. No Minister, whether of Union or State, can summon any election related officer
of the constituency or the State for any official discussions anywhere.
Only exception will be when a Minister, in his capacity as in charge of the
department concerned, or a Chief Minister undertakes an official visit to a
constituency, in connection with failure of law and order or a natural calamity
or any such emergency which requires personal presence of such Ministers/Chief
Ministers for the specific purpose of supervising review/salvage/relief and such
like purpose.
If Union Minister is traveling out of Delhi on purely official business, which
cannot be avoided in public interest, then a letter certifying to this effect should
be sent from the concerned Secretary of the Ministry/Department to the Chief
Secretary of the concerned State, with a copy to the Election Commission.
Q.11. Can an official meet the minister on his private visit to the Constituency
where elections are being held?
Ans. No
Any official who meets the Minister on his private visit to the constituency shall
be guilty of misconduct under the relevant service rules; and if he happens to
be an official mentioned in Section 129 (1) of the Representation of People
Act, 1951, he shall also be additionally considered to have violated the statutory
provisions of that Section and liable to penal action provided thereunder.
Q.12. Whether Ministers are entitled for official vehicle during the election?
Ans. Ministers are entitled to use their official vehicles only for commuting from their
official residence to their office for official work provided that such commuting
is not combined with any electioneering or any political activity.
Q.13. Whether Ministers or any other political functionaries can use pilot car
with beacon lights affixed with siren?
Ans. Minister or any other political functionary is not allowed during election
period, to use pilot car or car with beacon lights of any colour or car affixed
with sirens of any kind whether on private or official visit, even if the State
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administration has granted him a security cover requiring presence of armed


guards to accompany him on such visit. This prohibition is applicable whether
the vehicle is government owned or private owned.
Q.14. Suppose a vehicle has been provided to Minister by the State and the
Minister is given an allowance for maintenance of such vehicle. Can it be
used by the Minister for election purposes?
Ans. Where a vehicle is provided by the State or the Minister is given an allowance for
maintenance of the vehicle, he cannot use such vehicle for election.
Q.15. Whether there is any restriction or visits of members of National Commission
for Schedule Castes or any other similar National/State Commissions?
Ans. It is advised that all official visits of Members of such Commissions shall be
deferred, unless any such visit becomes unavoidable in an emergent situation, till
the completion of election exercise to avoid any misunderstanding that may arise
in any quarters.
Q.16. Whether a Chief Minister/Minister/Speaker can attend a “State Day”
function of a State?
Ans. There is no objection provided that he does not make any political speech on
the occasion and the function is to be conducted only by Govt. officials. No
advertisement depicting the photograph of Chief Minister/Minister/Speaker
shall be released.
Q.17. Whether Governor/Chief Minister/Ministers can participate and address
the Convocation function of University or Institute?
Ans. Governor may participate and address the Convocation. Chief Minister or
Ministers may be advised not to participate and address the Convocation.
Q.18. Whether “Iftar Party” or any other similar party can be hosted at the
residence of political functionaries, the expenses of which will be borne by
State exchequer?
Ans. No
However any individual is free by to host any such party in his personal capacity
and at his personal expense.

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ON WELFARE SCHEMES, GOVERNMENT WORKS ETC.


Q.19. Is there any restriction on issue of advertisement at the cost of public
exchequer regarding achievements with a view to furthering the prospects
of the party in power?
Ans. Yes
The advertisement regarding achievements of the party at the cost of public
exchequer in the print and electronic media and the misuse of official mass
media during the period of election is prohibited.
Q.20. Whether hoardings/advertisements etc. depicting the achievements of
the party(s) in power at Centre/State Governments at the cost of public
exchequer can be continued?
Ans. No
All such hoardings, advertisements etc. on display shall be removed forthwith
by the concerned authorities. Further, no advertisements should be issued in
the newspapers and other media including electronic media at the cost of public
exchequer.
Q.21. Whether a Minister or any other authority can sanction grants/ payments
out of discretionary funds?
Ans. No
Ministers and other authorities shall not sanction grants/payments out of
discretionary funds from the time elections are announced.
Q.22. Suppose work order has been issued in respect of a scheme or a programme.
Can it be started after announcement of election programme?
Ans. Work shall not be started in respect of which work order has been issued before
announcement of election but the work has actually not started in the field. If a
work has actually started in the field that can be continued.
Q.23. Whether fresh release of funds under MPs/MLAs/MLCs Local Area
Development Fund of any scheme can be made?
Ans. No
Fresh release of funds under MPs/MLAs/MLCs Local Area Development Fund
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of any scheme shall not be made in any area where election is in progress, till the
completion of the election process.
Q.24. There are various rural development programmes/ schemes of Central
government like Indira Awas Yojana, Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana,
Swaranjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana, National Food for Work programme,
National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. Are there any guidelines for
implementation of these schemes/programmes?
Ans. Yes
Following guidelines shall be followed in respect of each scheme/programme as
enumerated below:-
(a) Indira Awas Yojana (IAY)
Beneficiaries, who have been sanctioned housing scheme under IAY and
have started work, will be assisted as per norms. No new constructions
will be taken up or fresh beneficiaries sanctioned assistance till the
elections are over.
(b) Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana (SGRY)
Continuing works in progress may be continued and funds earmarked
for such works can be released. In case of any Panchayat where all ongoing
works have been completed and there is a requirement for taking up
new wage employment works and where funds released directly to the
Panchayats from the Ministry of Rural Development are available, new
works can be started from approved annual action plan for the current
year with the prior consent of the District Election Officer. From other
funds, no new works shall be started.
(c) Swaranjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY)
Only those help groups which have received part of their subsidy/
grant will be provided the balance installments. No fresh individual
beneficiaries or SHGs will be given financial assistance till the elections
are over.
(d ) National Food for Work Programme(NFWP)
There is no objection for continuance of old works and sanction of new

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works in those districts where no elections have been announced. In


those districts where elections have been announced and are in progress,
only those works may be undertaken that have already started physically
on ground, provided outstanding advance given for implementation of
such works at a given time shall not exceed the amount equivalent to
work for 45 days.
e) National Employment Rural Guarantee Act (NERGA)
The Ministry of Rural Development shall not increase the number
of districts in which it is being implemented after announcement of
elections. The job card holders will be provided employment in the
ongoing work, if they demand work, after announcement of elections. In
case no employment can be provided in ongoing works, the competent
authority may start new work(s) from the shelf of projects that has been
approved and inform the fact to concerned District Election Officer
(DEO). No new work shall be started by the competent authority till
such time employment can be given in ongoing works. In case no shelf
of project is available or all works available on shelf have been exhausted,
then the concerned competent authority shall make a reference to the
Commission for approval through the concerned DEO. The competent
authority shall also furnish a certificate to DEO to the effect that the
new work has been sanctioned as no employment can be given to the job
card holder in the ongoing work.
Q.25. Whether a Minister or any other authority can announce any financial
grants in any form or promises thereof or lay foundation stones etc. of
projects or schemes of any kinds etc.?
Ans. No
Ministers and other authorities shall not announce any financial grants in any
form or promises thereof; or (except civil servants) lay foundation stones etc. of
projects or schemes of any kind; or make any promise of construction of roads,
provision of drinking water facilities etc. or make any ad-hoc appointments in
Government, Public Undertakings etc. In such case, senior Govt. officer may lay
foundation stone etc. without involving any political functionary.

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Q.26. A budget provision has been made for a particular scheme or the scheme has
been sanctioned earlier. Can such scheme be announced or inaugurated?
Ans. No
Inauguration/announcement of such scheme is prohibited during election
period.
Q.27. Whether ongoing beneficiary scheme can be continued?
Ans. The following types of existing works can be continued by the government
agencies without reference to the Election Commission after the Model Code of
Conduct comes into force:
a. Work-Projects that have actually started on the ground after obtaining all
necessary sanctions;
b. Beneficiary-projects where specific beneficiaries by name have been
identified before coming of the Model Code of Conduct into force;
c. Registered beneficiaries of MGNREGA may be covered under existing
projects. New projects under MGNREGA that may be mandated under the
provisions of the Act may be taken up only if it is for the already registered
beneficiaries and the project is already listed in the approved and sanctioned
shelf of projects for which funds are also already earmarked.
The following type of new works (whether beneficiary or work oriented) that
fulfill all the following conditions before Model Code of Conduct comes into
effect, can be taken up under intimation to the Commission.
a. Full funding has been tied up.
b. Administrative, technical and financial sanctions have been obtained
c. Tender has been floated, evaluated and awarded.
d. There is contractual obligation to start and end the work within a given
time frame and failing which there is an obligation to impose penalty on the
contractor.
e. In case of any of the above conditions not being met in such cases prior
approval of the Commission shall be sought and obtained.

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Q.28. Is there any bar to release of payments for completed work?


Ans. There shall be no bar to the release of payments for completed work subject to
the full satisfaction of the concerned officials.
Q.29. How the Govt. may meet the emergency situation or unforeseen calamities,
when there are restrictions for announcing welfare measures?
Ans. For tackling emergencies or unforeseen calamities like providing relief to people
suffering from drought, floods, pestilences, other natural calamities or welfare
measures for the aged, infirm etc., Govt. may do so after obtaining prior approval
of the Commission and all ostentatious functions shall be strictly avoided and no
impression shall be given or allowed to be created that such welfare measures or
relief and rehabilitation works are being undertaken by the Government in office
with any ulterior motive.
Q.30. Whether financial institutions funded, partially or wholly by the
Governments can write off loans advanced to any individual, company,
firm, etc.?
Ans. No
The financial institutions funded, partially or wholly by the Governments shall
not take recourse to writing off loans advanced to any individual, company, firm,
etc. Also, financial limits of such institutions, while granting or extending loans,
should not be enhanced by issuing of loans indiscriminately to beneficiaries.
Q.31. Whether tenders, auctions etc. relating to matters such as liquor vends,
Tendu leaves and other such cases can be processed?
Ans. No
Processing of such cases should be deferred till the completion of election process
in the concerned areas and the Govt. may make interim arrangements where
unavoidably necessary.
Q.32. Whether meeting of Municipal Corporation, Nagar Panchayat, Town
Area Committee, etc. can be convened to review the revenue collection and
preparing draft annual budget etc.?
Ans. Yes
Provided that at such meetings only the matters of routine nature relating to
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day-to-day administration may be taken up and not the matters relating to its
policies and programmes.
Q.33. Whether political functionaries can participate in the celebration of
“Sadbhavna Diwas” which is celebrated throughout the country?
Ans. The Central Ministers / Chief Minister / Ministers in the States and other
political functionaries can participate in the celebration of “Sadbhavna Diwas”
subject to condition that the “theme” of their speeches should be confined only
to the promotion of harmony among the people’ and no political speech should
be made. Messages, if any, issued in the name of Minister should be confined to
the theme of national integration only and should carry no photograph of the
concerned Minister.
Q.34. Whether State-level functions can be held for observance of Martyrdom of
Martyrs which may be presided/attended to by Chief Minister / Minister?
Ans. Yes
Provided that the speeches of the Chief Minister and other Ministers should
restrict to the Martyrdom of the Martyrs and praising them. No political speech
or speech enumerating or referring to the achievements of the Government or
party in power should be made.
Q.35. Whether Kavi Sammelan, Mushiaras or other cultural functions can
be organized in connection with the Independence Day/Republic Day
celebration and whether political functionaries can attend the same?
Ans. Yes
The Central Ministers / Chief Minister / Ministers in the States and other
political functionaries can attend the programme. However, it will be ensured
that no political speeches highlighting the achievements of the party in power
are made on the occasions.
Q.36. Whether political advertisements can be printed on back side of the bus-
ticket of Govt. owned buses?
Ans. No

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Q.37. Whether minimum support price of wheat and other agricultural products
can be determined?
Ans. A reference in the matter shall be made to the Election Commission.
Q.38. Whether State Govt. can seek clarification/ clearance/approval in respect of
any proposal directly from the Election Commission?
Ans. No
Any proposal from State Govt. for seeking clarification/clearance/approval from
the Election Commission should only be routed through Chief Electoral Officer,
who will make his recommendation or otherwise in the matter.

ELECTION CAMPAIGN
Q.39. What are the main guidelines for political parties/candidates while making
election campaign?
Ans. During the election campaign, no party or candidate shall indulge in any activity
which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension
between different castes and communities, religious or linguistic. Further,
criticism of other political parties, when made, shall be confined to their policies
and programme, past record and work. Parties and candidates shall refrain from
criticism of all aspects of private life, not connected with the public activities of
the leaders or workers of other parties. Criticism of other parties or their workers
based on unverified allegations or distortion shall be avoided.
Q.40. Are there any restrictions in using religious places for election propaganda?
Ans. Yes
Religious places like Temple, Mosque, Church, Gurudwara or other places of
worship shall not be used as forum for election propaganda. Further, there shall
be no appeal to caste or communal feelings for securing votes.
Q.41. Can a candidate go to the office of Returning Officer for filing a nomination
with a procession?
Ans. No
The maximum number of vehicles that will be allowed to come within the
periphery of 100 mtrs. of Returning Officer’s office has been restricted to 3 and

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maximum number of persons that will be allowed to enter the office of Returning
Officer has been limited to 5 (including the candidate).
Q.42. How many persons are allowed at the time of scrutiny of nominations by
the Returning Officer?
Ans. The candidate, his election agent, one Proposer and one other person (who can
be an advocate) duly authorized in writing by the candidate, but no other person,
may attend at the time fixed for scrutiny of nominations by Returning Officer.
(Refer: Sec. 36 (1) of Representation of People Act, 1951)
Q.43. Are there any guidelines regarding use of vehicles by ministers/political
functionaries/candidates, who have been provided security cover by the
State?
Ans. Yes
In respect of persons covered by security, the use of State owned one bullet proof
vehicle for the particular person (PP) will be permitted in all cases where the
security agencies, including the intelligence authorities, have prescribed such
use. The use of multiple cars in the name of stand-by should not be permitted
unless so specifically prescribed by security authorities. The cost of propulsion
of such bullet proof vehicles where such use of bullet proof vehicles is specified
will be borne by the particular person. The number of vehicles to accompany
the carcade including pilots, escorts etc. will be strictly in accordance with the
instructions laid down by the security authorities and shall not exceed them
under any circumstances. The cost of propulsion of all such vehicles, whether
owned by Government or hired vehicles, will be met by the State Government.
The restrictions do not apply to the Prime Minister whose security requirements
are governed by the Government’s Blue Book.
Q.44. Whether there is any restriction for plying of vehicles for electioneering
purposes?
Ans. Candidate can ply any number of vehicles (all mechanized/motorized vehicles
including two- wheelers) for the purpose of election campaign but he has to seek
prior approval of the Returning Officer for plying such vehicles and must display
permit issued by Returning Officer in original (not photocopy) prominently on
the windscreen of the Vehicle. The permit must bear the number of the vehicle

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and name of the candidate in whose favour it is issued.


Q.45. Whether a vehicle for which permission has been taken for election campaign
in the name of a candidate, can be used for election campaign by another
candidate?
Ans. No
Use of such vehicle for election campaign by another candidate shall invite action
under section 171H of Indian Penal Code.
Q.46. Can a vehicle be used for electioneering purposes without getting permit
from the District Election Officer/Returning Officer?
Ans. No
Such vehicle shall be deemed to be unauthorized for campaigning by the
candidate and may attract penal provisions of Chapter IX A of the Indian Penal
Code and shall therefore be immediately out of the campaigning exercise and
shall not be used for further campaign.
Q.47. Whether there is any restriction on use of educational institutions including
their grounds (whether Govt. aided, Private or Govt.) for political campaigns
and rallies?
Ans. The Commission has allowed the use of school and college grounds (except in
the States of Punjab and Haryana where there is express prohibition from Punjab
and Haryana High Court) for political usage provided that:
School and college academic calendar is not disturbed under any circumstances.
The school/college management has no objection for this purpose and
prior permission for such campaigning is obtained from the school/college
Management as well as Sub Divisional Officer.
Such permission is granted on first-come-first served basis and no political party
is allowed to monopolize the use of those grounds.
There is no order/direction of any court prohibiting the use of any such premises/
ground.
Any violation in the allotment of school/college grounds for political meetings
will be viewed seriously by the Commission. The accountability in this regard

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lies with the Sub Divisional Officer, and


The political parties and candidates and campaigners shall take care to ensure
that the above norms are not violated.
If such grounds are utilized for campaigning purpose it should be returned to the
authority concerned, without any damage or with the requisite compensation for
the damage caused, if any. The political party/parties restoring back the campaign
ground to the concerned school/college authority should be responsible for the
payment of such compensation, if any.
Q. 48. Is external fitting/modification allowed in the vehicles used for campaigning?
Ans. External modification of vehicles including fitting of loudspeaker thereon, would
be subject to the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act/Rules as well as other
Local Act/Rules. Vehicles with modifications and special campaign vehicles like
Video Rath etc. can be used only after obtaining the requisite permission from
the competent authorities under the Motor Vehicles Act.
Q. 49. Is there any restriction or use of rest houses, dak bungalows or other Govt.
accommodation for campaign office or for holding any public meeting for
the purpose of election propaganda?
Ans. Yes
Rest houses, dak bungalows or other Govt. accommodation shall not be
monopolized by the party in power or its candidates and such accommodation
shall be allowed to use by other parties and candidates but no party or candidate
shall be allowed to use as campaign office.
Further, it shall be ensured that –
(i) no functionary can use the Circuit House, Dak bungalow to set up campaign
office as the Circuit Houses/Dak bungalows are only for temporary stay
(boarding and lodging) during transit of such functionaries,
(ii) even casual meeting by Members of political parties inside the premises of
the Government owned guesthouse etc. are not permitted and any violation
of this shall be deemed to be a violation of the Model Code of Conduct,
(iii) only the vehicle carrying the person allotted accommodation in the guest
house and not more than two other vehicles, if used by the person, will be

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permitted inside the compound of the Guest House,


(iv) rooms should not be made available for more than 48 hours to any single
individual, and
(v) 48 hours before the close of poll in any particular area, there will be freeze
on such allocations till completion of poll or re-poll.
Q. 50. Are there any conditions for getting Govt aircraft/helicopters (including
Public Sector Undertakings) by political parties/candidates?
Ans. Yes
While allowing the chartering of Govt. aircrafts/helicopters to political parties/
candidates or private companies etc., the following conditions should be
followed:-
i There should be no discrimination between the ruling party on the one
hand and the other parties and contesting candidates on the other.
ii The payment will be made by the political parties or the contesting
candidates and proper record maintained.
iii The rates and terms and conditions should be uniform for all.
iv The actual allotment should be made on the first-come first-served basis.
For this purpose, the date and time of receipt of the application should be
noted down by the authorized receiving authority.
v In the rare case when both the date and time of two or more applicants is
the same, the allotment will be decided by draw of lots.
vi No individual, firm, party or candidate will be allowed to charter the
aircraft/helicopter for more than three days at a time.
Q. 51. Is there any restriction on displaying poster, placard, banner, flag etc. of the
party concerned or the candidate on a public property?
Ans. Candidate may display poster, placard, banner, flag etc. of the party concerned
or the candidate on a public property subject to provisions of local law and
prohibitory orders in force. For details, refer Commission’s instructions
No.3/7/2008/JS-II, dated 7.10.2008 and No. 437/6/Campaign/ECI/INST/
FUNCT/MCC-2016 dated 04.01.2017.

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Q. 52. If local law/bye-laws permit wall writings and pasting of posters, putting
up hoardings, banners etc. on private premises/properties, is it necessary to
obtain prior written permission from the owner of the premises/properties?
Ans. Yes
Candidate is required to obtain prior written permission from the owner of the
properties/premises and photocopy(ies) of such permission should be submitted
within 3 days to the Returning Officer or an officer designated by him for the
purpose.
Q. 53. Is there any restriction on displaying/carrying poster/ placard/ banner/
flag of the party concerned or of the candidate on the vehicle during the
procession?
Ans. The maximum permissible number and size of flags/banners by a party or
candidate on a vehicle during procession is as follows-
Two wheelers – one flag of maximum size 1X1/2 ft. No banners are allowed.
One or two stickers of appropriate size are allowed.
Three wheelers, four wheelers, e-Rickshaws – No banners are allowed. Only one
flag of maximum size 3X2 ft. One or two stickers of appropriate size are allowed.
If a political party has a pre-poll alliance/seat sharing arrangement with another
party, then the vehicle of a candidate/political party may display one flag each of
such parties.
Q. 54. Whether there is any ban on use of plastic sheets for making use of posters/
banners during the election campaign?
Ans. The political parties and candidates should try to avoid the use of plastic/
polythene for preparation of posters, banners etc. in the interest of environmental
protection.
Q.55. Is there any restriction on the printing of pamphlets, posters etc.?
Ans. Yes
Candidate shall not print or publish, or cause to be printed or published any
election pamphlet or poster which does not bear on its face names and addresses

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of the printer and the publisher thereof.


(Refer : Section 127A of Representation of 1951)
Q. 56. Is wearing of special accessories like cap, mask, scarf etc. of a candidate
permitted during the campaigning?
Ans. Yes, provided they are accounted for in the election expenses of the candidate
concerned. However, supply and distribution of main apparels like saree, shirt,
etc. by party/candidate is not permitted as it may amount to bribery of voters.
Q. 57. Whether there is restriction to display to the public any election matter by
means of cinematograph, television or other similar apparatus?
Ans. Yes
Candidate can not display to the public any election matter by means of
cinematograph, television or other similar apparatus during the period of 48
hours ending with the hour fixed for the conclusion of poll.
(Refer: Sec. 126 of Representation of People Act, 1951)
Q.58. Whether distribution of printed “Stepney Covers” or other similar material
containing symbol of party/candidate or without depicting it, is a violation?
Ans. Yes
In case, it is established that such material has been distributed, a complaint
may be filed before the area Magistrate by District Administration against the
distribution of the said material under section 171 B of the IPC.
Q.59. Are there conditions/guidelines for setting up and operating of Temporary
Offices by Party or candidate?
Ans. Yes
Such offices can not be opened by way of any encroachment either on public
or private property/ in any religious places or campus of such religious places/
contiguous to any educational institution / hospital / within 200 meters of an
existing polling station. Further, such offices can display only one party flag and
banner with party symbol/photographs and the size of the banner used in such
offices should not exceed ‘4 feet X 8 feet’ subject to the further condition that if
the local laws prescribe a lower size for banner / hoarding etc., then the lower size

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prescribed by local law shall prevail.


Q.60. Is there any restriction on the presence of political functionaries in a
constituency after campaign period is over?
Ans. Yes
After the closure of campaign period (starting from 48 Hrs. before closure of
poll), political functionaries etc. who have come from outside the constituency
and who are not voters of the constituency should not continue to remain
present in the constituency. Such functionaries should leave the constituency
immediately after campaign period is over. This will not apply in the case of
candidate or his election agent even if they are not voters in the constituency.
Q.61. Whether there is any restriction for holding public meeting or taking out
processions?
Ans. Yes.
Prior written permission should be obtained from the concerned police
authorities for holding of a meeting at any public or private place and for taking
out processions.
Q.62. Whether loudspeakers can be used for public meetings or for processions
or for general propaganda without obtaining permission from Police
authorities?
Ans. No.
Prior written permission should be obtained from the concerned police
authorities for using loudspeakers.
Q.63. Whether there is any time limit for using loudspeakers?
Ans. Yes.
Loudspeaker can not be used at night between 10.00 P.M. and 6.00 A.M.
Q.64. What is the deadline after which no public meetings and processions can be
taken out?
Ans. Public meetings cannot be held after 10 PM and before 6.00 AM. Further,
Candidate can not hold public meetings and processions during the period of 48
hours ending with the hour fixed for the conclusion of poll. Suppose, poll day
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is 15th July and hours of poll are from 8.00 A.M to 5.00 P.M., then the public
meetings and processions shall be closed at 5.00 P.M on the 13th July.
(Refer: Sec. 126 of Representation of People Act, 1951)
Q. 65. Whether there are any guidelines for political parties/candidates for
issue of unofficial identity slips to voters?
Ans. Yes.
The unofficial identity slip, on white paper, shall contain only the particulars of
the voter i.e. name, Serial number of voter, part No. in the electoral roll, s.no.
and name of Polling Station and date of Poll. It should not contain the name of
candidate, his photograph and symbol.
Q. 66. Is there any restriction on appointment of a Minister/M.P./M.L.A/
M.L.C or any other person who is under security cover as an Election Agent/
Polling Agent/Counting Agent?
Ans. Yes
A candidate cannot appoint a Minister/M.P./ MLA/MLC or any other person
who is under security cover, as an election/polling agent/counting agent, as
his personal security shall be jeopardized with such appointment, because his
security personnel will not under any circumstances be permitted to accompany
him into the 100 meter perimeter of polling stations described as the “Polling
Station Neighbourhood” and within the polling booth and campus of counting
centre and within the counting centre. Also any person having security cover will
not be allowed to surrender his security cover to act as such agent of a candidate.
Q. 67. Who is the authority to issue permits to Star Campaigners (Leaders) of the
Political Parties who avail benefit under Section 77(1) of R.P Act, 1951?
Ans. In case the mode of road transport is to be availed of by Star Campaigners
(Leaders) of political, the permit will be issued centrally by the Chief Electoral
Officer. If such party applies for issue of permit for the same vehicle to be used
by any leader for election campaigning throughout the State, the same may be
issued for such vehicle centrally by the Chief Electoral Officer, which will be
prominently displayed on windscreen of such vehicle(s) to be used by concerned
leader(s). If different vehicles are to be used by such party leaders in different
areas, then the permit can be issued against the name of the person concerned

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who will display it prominently on the windscreen of the vehicle being used by
such leader.
Q. 68. Whether Opinion poll or Exit poll can be conducted, published, publicized
or disseminated at any time?
Ans. No
The result of any opinion poll or exit poll conducted shall not be published,
publicized or disseminated in any manner by print, electronic or any other
media, at any time-
(a) during the period of 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for closing of poll
in an election held in a single phase; and
(b) in a multi-phased election, and in the case of elections in difference States
announced simultaneously, at any time during the period starting from
48 hours before the hour fixed for closing of poll in the first phase of the
election and till the poll is concluded in all the phases in all States.

POLL DAY
Q.69. Is it necessary to obtain written permission of the concerned Government
authorities or local authorities for setting up of election booth?
Ans. Yes
It is necessary to obtain the written permission of the Government authorities
concerned or local authorities before setting up of such booths. Written
permission must be available with the persons manning the booth for production
before the police /election authorities concerned on demand.
Q. 70. Is there any restriction of canvassing in or near polling station?
Ans. Yes
Canvassing for votes etc. within a distance of one hundred meters of polling
station is prohibited on the day of poll.
(Refer : Section 130 of Representation of 1951)

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Q. 71. Is there any restriction of going armed to or near polling station?


Ans. Yes
No person is allowed to go armed with arms as defined in Arms Act 1959 of any
kind within the neighbourhood of a polling station on the day of poll.
(Refer: Section 134B of Representation of 1951)
Q.72. How many vehicles a candidate is entitled for on the day of poll?
Ans.
(i) For an election to the House of the People, a candidate will be entitled to:
(a) One vehicle for candidate’s own use in respect of the entire constituency.
One vehicle for use of candidate’s election agent for entire constituency.
(b) In addition, one vehicle for use of candidate’s workers or party workers,
as the case may be, in each of the assembly segments comprised in the
Parliamentary Constituency.
(ii) For an election to the State Legislative Assembly, a candidate will be entitled
to:
(a) One vehicle for candidate’s own use
(b) One vehicle for use of candidate’s election agent
(c) In addition, one vehicle for use of candidate’s workers or party workers.
Q.73. If the candidate is absent from the constituency on the day of poll, can the
vehicle allotted in his name be used by any other person?
Ans. No
Vehicle allotted for candidate’s use is not allowed to be used by any other person.
Q. 74. Can any type of entitled vehicle be used on the day of poll?
Ans. No
The candidate or his agent or party workers or workers will be allowed to use
only four/three/two wheeler vehicles i.e. cars (of all types), taxis, auto rickshaws,
rickshaws and two wheelers. In these vehicles not more than five persons
including drivers are allowed to move on the day of poll.

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Q. 75. Whether Political Party/Candidate can make arrangements for transporting


voter to and from Polling Station?
Ans. No.
Any arrangement, direct or indirect, to carry any voter to or from polling station
by any kind of vehicle used for transport is a criminal offence.
(Refer: Sec. 133 of Representation of People Act, 1951)
Q. 76. Can a leader of Political party use private fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters
for the purposes of supervising and monitoring the polling and counting
process on the day of poll and counting?
Ans. No
Leader of a political party is not allowed to use private fixed-wing aircraft and
helicopters for the purposes of supervising and monitoring the polling and
counting process on the day of poll and counting.

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March, 2019
Document 21 - Edition 1

This Document is also available at ECI’s website at https://eci.gov.in/files/file/9375-manual-on-model-code-of-conduct/